What about traditional American values?
These are extraordinary times. The front-running Democratic presidential candidates call out Donald Trump’s behavior and speech as racist and white supremacist. While I’ve thought for well over two years that Trump is racist, bigoted, a misogynist, and an admirer of white supremacist groups as well as violent dictators, it seemed there was a line in public discourse that prevented those in the public eye from saying such things about the president.
That’s over now. It’s time to call out behavior that doesn’t support the values and ethos of the United States of America. Our president, with an approval rating of 40%, is not shy about expressing his disdain for those not born in this country, those with anything other than white skin, those who are in less fortunate circumstances. He wants the U.S. to reflect a non-diverse, Christian, patriarchal ideal.
Honestly, I don’t know if the 40% of our families, friends and neighbors who continue to approve of Trump are all racists. I hope not. But I won’t rest until our governance reflects the values I was taught: acceptance, diversity, and compassion.
Denise Hunt, Turlock
Something has gone terribly wrong
It’s a sad time to be living in the United States. We have a racist president whose public statements give support to white supremacists and other hate groups. He has routinely vilified Mexicans, Muslims and people of color.
Agencies charged with protecting the environment and the rights of consumers have appointed leaders who are bent on gutting the laws they are supposed to uphold. Clean air, clean water, wildlife, and product safety are some of the things at risk when Republican foxes are guarding the peoples’ hen houses. Individuals working for the president and the government have refused to respond to lawfully issued subpoenas without facing penalties. Are they above the law? Maybe so; if I refused to comply with a subpoena I might wind up in jail.
A federal investigation has shown that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election may have altered the outcome and such interference is still on-going. Nevertheless, Republican leadership in Congress has declined to pass laws that would make our elections secure from such interference.
This is not the America envisioned by the Founders who wrote the Constitution.
Michael A. Clarke, Salida
State debt is out of control
How much debt does California carry? Two trillion three hundred billion. Half of the debt is underfunded pension plans. California will only acknowledge it has 1 trillion; this is far from being upfront. Eighty percent of this year’s budget will cover education, welfare, healthcare, pensions and interest. We pay over 13% tax, highest of any state. Economists say this is unsustainable. Is the state trying to spend itself into prosperity?
Dennis Shaeffer, Modesto
Statue of Liberty stands for something
Several weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting the Statue of Liberty and related museums. It was an amazing experience. It occurred to me that exercising a bit of my sarcasm was in order. I visualized draft-dodger Trump returning the statue to France and replacing it with a statue of himself, as he is evidently trying to follow in the footsteps of his idols: Hitler, Putin, David Duke, etc. This is reinforced with the reality of Trump’s cohort stating that the Statue of Liberty only is supposed to welcome white Europeans.
Ken Garst, Turlock