In Thursday’s paper our attorney general, William Barr, warned that our country would be on the brink of destruction if President Donald Trump loses because we would be “irrevocably committed to the socialist path” (“Barr: Charge rioters with sedition”). Many Republicans, including our president, are using the term “socialism” as if it were tied to the second coming of Josef Stalin, while voting for Trump represents a vote for freedom and democracy. This is a ridiculous dichotomy on both fronts. First, Democrats are not seeking to change either our system of government (democracy) or our economic system (capitalism). Rather, many Democrats are asking Americans to increase the state’s role in our health care system so that all Americans will be provided for, not just those who are still fortunate enough to have a job, despite the pandemic. To argue that this represents a fundamental change to both our economic and political systems is the equivalent of looking at your bathtub and calling it Lake Superior.

Second, the real threat to our system of government is Trump. He is fundamentally arguing against democracy by 1) suggesting that people should vote twice, 2) corrupting mail-in voting, 3) trying to exclude immigrants from being counted in the census, and perhaps most egregiously, 4) stating multiple times that he will determine if he accepts the results of the election based on whether he wins or not.

So, yes, Barr is correct, this is the most important election in our lifetimes, not because the Democrats want to provide health care for all of us, but because we have a president, along with his sycophants, who are willing to throw democracy out the window to insure that their side wins.

Jim Cotner, St. Paul

• • •

As you make your decision on your presidential vote, consider the leadership style of the candidates. The Barack Obama/Joe Biden leadership style was characterized as “leading from behind.” Obama did not respond after Bashar Assad used chemical weapons even though he said he would. He called the ISIS threat a junior-varsity team as the caliphate continued to grow. This style of leadership did not get results and in 2016, more than 70% of Americans felt our country was going in the wrong direction.

Contrast that with Trump’s leadership: “Make America great again” and “We’ll make things happen.” He has followed through on his promises: military readiness is improved, the wall is being built, caravans have stopped coming, manufacturing jobs have returned, veterans’ programs have been implemented, justice reform on prison sentences has been achieved, prescription prices have come down, trade deals have been improved, peace deals between Arab nations and Israel have been negotiated and signed and so many more positive actions for our country.

Do we really want to go back to a Biden-led administration “leading from behind”?

Byron Lindaman, Ogilvie, Minn.

• • •

I am voting for Joe Biden. I volunteer for and contribute to his campaign. I have friends and acquaintances, however, who support Trump. I respect their right to vote as they choose. I ask that we see the best in each other as we approach the final days of the campaign. We all want safety, shelter, enough food and health for ourselves and our loved ones.

Let us decide the election on the issues, not on conspiracy theories about the other side. Let us agree that violence is wrong. Protesters were destructive and wrong when they blocked the emergency room entrance and said, “We hope they die,” regarding the two sheriff’s deputies who were recently shot in California (from an article in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 13). The Catholic priests were also wrong who called COVID-19 an evil, man-made conspiracy, and Catholic Democrats “godless” hypocrites doomed to hell (“2 priests deny pandemic, condemn Democrats,” front page, Sept. 15).

Nearly 200,000 fellow Americans have died in a historic pandemic this year. Millions of Americans have lost jobs. The poor among us, of every color, are suffering the most. The Western wildfires and the Southern hurricane season promise to cause further loss and pain. It is time to stop using verbal and real violence. It is time to listen, to hear the concerns of people not like us. It is time to reclaim our common ground and to improve our common problems. Our parents and grandparents did this. It is now our time.

Eric Larson, Edina

• • •

As a socially conservative Christian male who has had a lot of birthdays, I belong to a demographic group that supported Trump something like 80% to 20% in 2016. Please count me among the 20%.

It is easy to understand where my friends on the other side of the fence are coming from. After his retirement, President Dwight Eisenhower was reportedly asked if he made any mistakes during his tenure. He supposedly replied, “Two, and they’re both on the Supreme Court.” Since then, our judicial branch has handed down a long string of decisions that we see as appalling.

Of course Roe v. Wade heads the list. I suspect that Satan is delighted every time an unborn baby is aborted. I think that he is equally happy that he has lured evangelicals into political activism and away from the great commission to spread the gospel.

So now the same people who piously denounced President Bill Clinton for his moral misdeeds are actively campaigning for a man who championed a trillion-dollar budget deficit, wreaked havoc with our foreign policy and who appears to be a womanizer, a liar, a defamer and a cheater. Some find that hard to fathom. I do not. It’s all about judicial appointments.

So here is where I disagree with my friends who support Trump. They are willing to put up with a lot of nonsense in order to get a slim chance at overturning Roe v. Wade. I am not.

Jerome Miller, Sebeka, Minn.

• • •

Considering what we actually know about Trump and what actually motivates him, I think it has become increasingly obvious that his motto is, “Ask not what I can do for you but what you can do for me.” If he were re-elected, what would be his motivation to do anything at all as president? He has shown continuously that he is far more interested in having the job than doing the job beyond how it benefits him and his family. Trump will say anything and make up anything to get re-elected. He is literally a stranger to the truth. He stands with a flag in one hand and a cross in the other to hide his malevolence with insincere piety and reverence that plays especially well to the ignorant and superstitious. Is this the kind of person who can realistically be trusted to actually be a caring and honest public servant?

And there is one other important consideration. You may not like Biden for a variety of reasons, but I would rather vote for a person who has one foot in the grave than Trump, who has both feet in the Kremlin.

There is a curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.” Trump will certainly guarantee that.

Thom Jesberg, East Bethel


These women inspire me

Following reports on the Lynx team this season has brought me a lot of joy, but reading the “New mom proves toughness” article on Friday has kindled a persistent smile that feels almost unfamiliar. I love the spunk of these ladies, whom the writer says “are more blue collar than blue chip.” Theirs is an embryonic quest to form a team, under a great coach and with true grit. Thank you, Lynx, for buoying me up more than nearly anything else in this year of years.

Marie Ward, West St. Paul

We want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts here.