So, Donald Trump is running for president again. Just let that sink in. Think about how ridiculous the possibility of another Trump presidency must seem to our world allies in other democracies. Here is a man who was twice impeached on charges of violating his oath of office and his constitutional duty. Here is a man who appears to have spent his final days in office actively scheming to overturn the will of the people and cling to power by inciting an insurrection. And here is a man who may yet be indicted on a charge of moving classified documents to his resort in Florida.
Outside of Trump's base, is there anyone who thinks this possibility is anything but insane? What would a second Trump presidency say about our American democracy? And what would it say about the type of leadership we value? Rather than valuing the characteristics of servant leadership, we'd be showing we prefer the traits and practices of a mob boss. Do we really want someone who tries to hold power by lying, cheating and intimidation rather than one who leads by serving others first?
Here's the biggest irony: The GOP claims to be the party of Christian values, and yet Trump's base seems to prefer a leader who is a lot less like Jesus and a lot more like Tony Soprano.
Jeff Dols, Inver Grove Heights
Her accomplishments abound
A Nov. 21 letter about Nancy Pelosi, "Her failings went unmentioned," cites her supposed ignorance of history when she referred to "federal troops, sent by then-President Donald Trump to protect federal courthouses, as 'storm troopers.'" The writer said "storm trooper" referred to Adolf Hitler's "shock troops." His description sounds like the thugs of the Sturmabteilung (SA), aka the Brownshirts. The term "storm trooper" was also used in World War I's "Sturmtruppen," a German military advance attack division. However, the more recent and widely used reference (and the one that comes up first in a Google search), is from the Star Wars movies! The Star Wars storm trooper costume looks an awful lot like the uniforms that today's riot police wear (head-to-toe body armor, a long gun and a face-covering helmet). Who knows which kind of storm trooper Pelosi was thinking of. Her point was not historical; it was about the use of militarized policing, which is something worthy of debate.
Not to ignore the only other "failing" the writer cited from Pelosi's decadeslong career — the time she tore up her copy of Trump's State of the Union speech. At least she didn't clog up a toilet with it (as far as we know). It's fine if the writer is not an admirer of Nancy Pelosi, but if these two criticisms are all he's got, I'll stick with my admiration of her accomplishments.
Eileen Deitcher, Shoreview
One issue among many in midterms
I took a deep breath and calmed myself down after the letter to the editor in the Nov. 16 paper "Abortion trumped all else" had me seeing red. I took offense at the terrible choice of words and the writer's seriously misinformed opinion that voters are willing to sacrifice higher costs of goods, jobs and quality education because those voters choose to "kill babies" instead. Maybe, just maybe, she shouldn't be so sanctimonious with her harsh words about abortion because absolutely no woman ever wants to be in a position to have to make that choice. Abortion is about a woman's health care if that baby is no longer viable, or the woman's life is at risk, or if you are a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio who is not a grown woman emotionally or physically, not capable of bringing a baby to full term, let alone raising that baby. That tough decision needs to between the pregnant woman, her partner and her doctor, not, I repeat, not politicians.
It is also quite possible voters across this country have finally found their voices and are tired and fed up with conspiracy theorists, chaos, election deniers and negative narratives about how bad our country is under a Democrat. And a party that has no agenda and is assaulting our freedoms and limiting our voting rights, the words we use, the books we read, whom we love and marry and, yes, our health choices. Abortion was at the top of mind for many, but in my mind it had more to do with the freedoms that were fought so hard for in the past 50 years hanging on by a thread and the threat to our democracy that pushed many of us moderates, young voters and swing voters to finally say "enough."
Debbie Anthony, Coon Rapids
The Star Tribune is pro-abortion and against the ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Many letter writers agree. Both use the word "fetus." Minnesota statutes do not agree. Minnesota Statute 609.2661 and later statutes say that "whoever" causes the death of an unborn child is guilty of murder. Related Statute 609.266 defines the unborn child as the unborn child of a "human being conceived, but not yet born," then adds that "whoever" does not include the pregnant woman. There is no mention of the word "fetus." It would seem that prosecutors want to be able to charge some people with murder while others do the same thing with no penalty.
The majority of states have laws like this. The federal government has the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (2004). Section 1841 of that law states that harm to a child in utero is a separate crime. Then-Sen. John Kerry opposed the law, saying, "The law cannot simultaneously provide that a fetus is a human being and protect the right of the mother to choose to terminate her pregnancy."
It seems that according to Minnesota and federal law, the Supreme Court finally got Roe v. Wade right.
Darcy Kroells, Green Isle, Minn.
A recent letter writer sincerely believes abortion "kills babies." Pro-lifers deeply believe the soul or right to life is conferred at conception, so all abortion is murder.
But we pro-choicers respectfully disagree. We deeply believe the soul or right to life is not conferred until later in pregnancy, varying from quickening to birth. (This has been the majority view for 2,000 years, including the Catholic Church until 1869.) Before this point we hold that a fetus, despite its DNA, has no right to life and is not yet a baby, so abortion before this point kills no babies. Even nature offers beginning human lives no right to life; it will kill half or more by miscarriage.
But let me remind us that, at least prior to viability, both these two diametrically opposite beliefs rest entirely on faith or conscience, not on science or objective fact. In 2,000 years of furious dispute, no objective, nonreligious argument before viability persuasive to both sides has ever been found. Therefore, at least before viability, both are purely beliefs of faith or conscience and, as such, both are constitutionally protected by religious freedom.
Religious freedom means no voters, legislatures or courts may interfere in either of these protected beliefs. The majority justices either erred or lied when they ruled you can vote on your neighbor's religious or ethical beliefs and legislatures can vote on yours.
We nevertheless defend pro-lifers' right to believe abortion "kills babies," though we think it terribly harmful and misguided, because we hold religious freedom inviolate. But we will also defend our own belief by suing every state having restrictions on abortion before viability for violating the religious freedom of people seeking early abortion.
Walter McClure, Edina