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Maybe it really was April Fools' Day on Monday. Maybe fools are in charge. I see no public record from our Republican elected leaders in Minnesota condemning the image of a hog-tied president of the United States on the back of a pickup truck in Michigan ("Trump video shows a hog-tied Biden," March 31).

All across the country this image has been visible because Donald Trump posted it on his social media site. What? He posted it himself? Did he condemn it and ask the person responsible to take it down? No? Was he thinking it is acceptable to threaten the life of an elected leader? Does he think threats against the rest of us, then, are also OK?

And did our elected Minnesota representatives condemn it? Have you, citizens of Minnesota, heard from our Republican leaders: Reps. Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach, Pete Stauber, Brad Finstad? Do they think threats of violence are appropriate in our nation?

For that matter, where are the Republican members of the Minnesota Legislature? Do they agree that hog-tying a duly elected president of the United States is acceptable in our democracy? Are they all condoning violence by their silence?

Don't you think this is unacceptable? No fooling, I think it is.

Melinda Quivik, St. Paul


The Star Tribune reported on April 1 in a story that former President Donald Trump and his religious supporters are outraged at President Joe Biden celebrating both Easter and Transgender Day of Visibility ("Biden gets heat from right over Trans Day"). For the record, Transgender Day of Visibility is March 31 every year, and is constant year to year, just like March Madness, golf tournaments, birthdays and so forth. However, Easter varies from year to year, creating conflict with other societal events that citizens enjoy. The varying date of Easter also makes Ash Wednesday conflict (that changes year to year also), and what did Ash Wednesday conflict with this year? Valentine's Day! Good thing the day of love is more popular.

But you know what Transgender Day of Visibility supporters did not condemn nor prevent? Religious believers from participating in Ash Wednesday or Easter services. Indeed, many may have celebrated both. I find that Biden's need to recognize trans citizens at all is disturbing because we Americans claim to pride ourselves in freedom of the individual, and trans citizens are marginalized, face unfairness in employment, housing and the ability to live in some communities for just being themselves. Trans citizens do not enjoy the same set of freedoms as the very religious extremists who vilify a trans person for being their biological selves.

Trans citizens are not looking for special rights but to have equal rights to be themselves. Biden is correct to highlight the need for American freedoms to extend to all Americans equally, and to live their lives as free individuals.

Steve Petersen, Shoreview


Trump voters don't see it that way

On April 2, two letters illustrated what passes as current political discourse.

The first was "Trumpism, Christianity a toxic mix," from a reverend who advanced the term "Christian nationalism" and then proceeded to rail against it. This nemesis "relies on the mythological founding of the United States as a 'Christian Nation' singled out for God's providence" for his purposes on earth. Apparently the writer discounts the numerous references by the founders of their insistence that "unalienable rights" are rights derived from God and not man. The writer includes a quote that Christian nationalism "demands" a privileged place in public life. Creating a false premise and then arguing against it eliminates any credibility. Recall that the founders were specific on this in the establishment clause and Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation." The agenda here is very evident.

The second letter demonstrates just how far political polarization has gone. The writer has a noteworthy dislike for the presumptive Republican nominee, exemplified in his statement: "All GOP supporters who support Trump are stooges licking at his golden sneakers." I'm glad the writer tempered his thoughts. But I will tell you why people support Trump. They are tired of the watching their nation become diminished on the world stage. They are watching China, Russia and their surrogates go unchallenged with their plans for economic, military and political dominance. The U.S. can no longer be trusted as an ally — witness Biden's recent change in his stance on Israel's plans to destroy Hamas. Americans are fearful of the future when they see upward of 10 million border crossings on the southern and northern borders. Americans are concerned over a tepid economy that Biden proclaims is the best in the world. Yet they see how expensive basic necessities are as they buy groceries and gas. They see a "green agenda" raising their cost of living despite being told otherwise. Citizens fear crime as the ranks of law enforcement diminish and prosecutors and judges deny accountability. In general, they fear that the American dream for themselves and future generations may be lost.

Many Americans believe we have one last chance to "get it right" as the current state of affairs may be impossible to reverse. These and many more reasons are why they support Trump. They see a need to reverse many policies that are purposely targeting the future of our country.

Joe Polunc, Waconia


Lamenting the transfer trend

From the Star Tribune on March 29, "Payne, Carrington, Ihnen enter portal": "A surprise loss for Gophers men's basketball coach Ben Johnson came Thursday with sophomore big man Pharrel Payne officially entering the transfer portal. Within a few hours, sophomore Braeden Carrington and junior forward Isaiah Ihnen entered the portal, too. ... 'I think it's important to keep the group together, so we can keep building on it,' Payne told the Star Tribune at Target Center. 'Imagine what we could do if we keep the group together for next year.'"

Shame on the NCAA! The so-called transfer portal is a policy that spells out exactly what we shouldn't be teaching our kids: "I don't care about my team nor the institution for which I represent; I am all about me. The investment in me made by the institution for whom I represent means nothing." The transfer portal has become indicative and pervasive throughout our society in general. Loyalty has become a one-way street that flows only in one direction.

Hockey dodged our "it's all about me" societal culture until recently. Now, if a goal is scored it's not my teammates who set me up; it's now become, "I scored and my teammates must chase after me while I skate to my fans for adulation."

Our individualist society has gone up and over the top on this one. The "no me in team" adage has been blown out of the water. Thanks to our society's values and the NCAA's transfer portal: If I'm a student athlete, any adversity and I'm out of here.

Greg Nayman, St. Paul


Joe Souhan is to be commended for his Monday, April 1 article, "Want to see NCAA's best? Watch the women," which compared the two basketball tournaments now being played. If a basketball fan wants to see star players, outstanding team play and quality coaching, her (or his) choice is clear. There was a time when I would have cleared my schedule to make sure I did not miss a moment of the men's Final Four games. Next weekend, I will be at home to watch the women's semifinals on Friday night and the finals on Sunday. In contrast, during the men's semifinals on Saturday night, I will be in my seat at the Loons game, and during the finals on Monday, I will be sitting in the tenor section at the St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral Choral Society rehearsal.

Paul Anton, Edina