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Letter: President is doing a lot of damage to the nation

Recent actions by the Trump administration clearly shows the intended goal of this administration and Republican Party backers is to completely erode the foundation of our formerly good enough country. Good enough, not great ... greatness can never be achieved, only aspired to.

Constant attacks on the press, the law enforcement agencies, the constitution ... all of the pillars of protection we, the people, have against dictatorial rule, are taking its toll as daily "tweets" obscure what is really going on.

The latest barrage of nonsense following U.S. withdrawal from the international community, our allies, and joining Russia and other dictator-run countries has already put our country in a "not to be trusted" category. All this happened in a few short months after 240 years of hard-fought battles to strengthen our democracy and lead the world in advancing the "common good" for all people.

There are no words to describe the despair those of us in our 80s feel when watching the news and seeing nothing but meaningless photo ops the president hungers for. The latest meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un without adequate preparation is an unnecessary publicity stunt giving Kim everything he wanted (an audience with a U.S. president) before it even started.

Based on history and the oppressed state of North Korea's citizenry, there is no way Kim will give up his nuclear program or even let international inspectors into his country.

For decades, the North Koreans have been told they are living in the best the world has to offer. They have no way to see otherwise since all information is controlled by the state. If they had a real view of how their South Korean neighbors live, they would realize they have been lied to and become a real threat to Kim's leadership and, along with disaffected military who have escaped assassination, mount a coup to oust Kim and his brutal regime from power.

Even worse is the treatment of our longtime trusted friends and allies in Europe, Canada, Mexico and most of the international community. Backing out of brilliantly-negotiated agreements on nuclear weapons with Iran, withdrawing from a climate accord with almost 200 other nations, backing out of trade agreements, decimating the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) ... just to undo Obama's accomplishments is childishly abhorrent and destructive. Add to that, packing the judiciary with conservative judges and passing the worst tax cut bill in history, destined to add another $10 trillion to the national debt, while making severe cuts to all elements of the social safety net (Social Security, Medicare, food programs), public education/training ... just to line the pockets of the big donors to their re-election campaigns. Shame on them.

What on Earth is Trump/GOP's end game? What will it look like so we'll know when it hits us? Is it when everyone feels secure in their lives or is it simply for the affluent to enjoy watching the suffering of others because of their race, their physical and mental disabilities, or their crimes requiring endless years of punishment? Or is it to enjoy counting money and property while taking away meager public assistance and health care for the unfortunate among us?

None of what they are doing has any hope of "Making America Great Again" or even "Below Average." We, the people of all political leanings, have to put aside our Democrat/Republican Party trappings and decide what we all need and want to save our planet, our democratic form of government, and move smartly into the rest of the 21st century with progressive thinking-planning, energy, and the will to leave our posterity a dynamic environment and socio/economic infrastructure to build their lives on.

Elections have consequences. This year is a chance to slow the carnage. Vote.—Lee Purrier, Park Rapids

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