Lee Purrier, Park Rapids
There has never been a president so immersed in his own thin skin than Trump. His time is spent attacking his "enemies" as he perceives them with childish "tweets" while the hard work of effective governing is left to a cabinet of incompetent cronies, yes men/women, and campaign contributors who are quietly tearing down the pillars of our formerly great democracy.
The arm wrestling over the budget and unnecessary government shutdown is just another indication of governing gone astray from common sense and responsible actions.
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.
Now I understand... For years I have been struggling to find the source of the modern Republican's governing philosophies and ideologies that seem so contrary to those of our founding fathers. I have often referred to the Reagan years, 37 years ago, with his "trickle down" economic strategy, as the start of the modern conservative movement leading to dysfunctional government, sharply divided between Democrats and Republicans.
After listening to hours of hearings for cabinet nominees, it is obvious that our elected representatives, president, senators, and representatives swim in the murky waters of self-imposed complexity when dealing with issues of the day. Health care is the prime example. The approach to solving complex problems is to reduce complexity by following the highest level guidelines available. In the case of health care, this guidance is derived from the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution. It is simply stated for everyone to understand.
The recent controversy over kneeling while the national anthem was playing before an NFL football game brings the whole focus of "symbolism" over "patriotism" in question. The flag is a symbol representing the values attributed to the "Republic for which it stands."
Interesting to listen to talking heads make forceful statements citing numbers they simply make up. Of course, if not challenged, they will be believed by enough voters to swing elections. A few favorite examples are the "trickle down" economic myth and Obama's contribution to the national debt.
I've almost stopped trying to sort through the debris of the past six months in domestic and foreign affairs to find some positive events ... only one made the grade. The political courage of Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain to cast deciding votes against continuing the attempt to "repeal and replace" Obamacare demonstrated loyalty to their constituents over party and presidential power. Thanks.
This election and the ensuing train wreck has had a numbing effect on our nation and the world. At 82 years old and a political junky since the start of World War Two, I have never seen a period so devoid of optimism for the future. This, despite the fact we have entered the most exciting technological age in history, responsible application of which would enhance the lives of all people.
Let’s see. Things not going well for The Donald. No Muslim ban, no Obamacare repeal, no movement on infrastructure, jobs … approval ratings dropping to historic lows, Russian hacking/interfering with the election heating up, getting too close. Gotta do something to get people excited again. We know they like a show of force. Hey, Vlad, what can we do to show we remain enemies to take some heat off?