Trump should carefully consider his words

Did the president say that? Really? His followers will start a civil war if the president gets impeached!?

In spite of all the exaggerations, half-truths and outright lies that the president has made over the years, that’s the most preposterous!

Here are his own words, quoting the right-wing pastor Robert Jeffress on the “Fox & Friends” Sunday show: “If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office (which they will never be),” the commander in chief tweeted this weekend, it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this nation from which our country will never heal.”

Just how insecure is he that he needs the reassurance that Americans are so unbounding in their admiration for him, as to do such an absurd thing as to actually cause bloodshed between neighbors and between family members? This is not the clearly defined issue or geography as during the terrible Civil War of the late 1800s.

How much dedication and venom does he think large portions of his base really has? Enough to split families and friendships in mass slaughter? Enough to split the nation? His need to be liked is enormous. His ego is beyond measure.

I am a moderate Democrat and am mot given to making hasty judgments. I believe in free expression for all people. The president of the United States of America, however, is not like some ordinary person who can say whatever he feels without repercussions. As the president he is not any ordinary person. His words carry enormous weight. His Tweets are followed by millions of people.

Some people take his haranguing of the people that he doesn’t like as permission to act violently — as has happened in the past. His position means that he can’t dismiss violent actions as if he isn’t partially responsible. He needs to weigh the potential consequence of his words and be held accountable for what he says.

His words are the most irresponsible thing he has ever said. I don’t believe he is fit to hold this high office.

Tom Steensma

rural Defiance

Trump’s diplomacy is a ‘sham’

As a fog machine creates a frightening atmosphere on Halloween, the occupant of our nation’s highest office emits a thick cloud of baseless threats. Spooks everywhere! Chrissy Tiegan’s “filthy mouth,” “un-American” first-year congresswomen, desperate Central Americans mounting an “invasion” and, most recently, legitimate congressional investigations are a “coup” instigated by “traitors.”

Lost in the fog is the biggest spook of all: the growing threat of nuclear war brought on by the occupant’s raised middle finger at humanity and the potentially dire consequences for all.

In August, the Trump Administration trashed the 1987 INF Treaty with Russia. To the delight of weapons manufacturers, a decades-long co-existence among the three superpowers — Russia, China and the U.S. — was fractured, clearing the path for a nuclear arms race. Next up: the 2010 New Start Treaty.

There’s no reason to dismantle these treaties. The INF Treaty was reducing the threat of hair-triggered mass destruction: 2,700 missiles were verifiably destroyed. If we want cost containment (a $200 billion nuclear arsenal, annually), the New Start Treaty works: the number of strategic nuclear warheads is capped at 1,550.

Yes, these treaties are incomplete. New advancements in weapons technology create advantages not covered by outdated treaties. Nations will circumvent. Yet, these treaties have contributed to making our lives on earth verifiably more secure.

White House officials dumped the treaties without a hint of doing better. If the goal is to reduce the threat of nuclear war among the superpowers, then they’d show willingness to return to the table, either to improve the existing treaties or reset the table. Instead, the Trump Administration slashes the diplomatic corps needed for international agreements and pursues backroom deals with foreign leaders for re-election in 2020.

This administration sees neither national interest nor humanity beyond its nose. Might other nations feel as threatened by us as we do them? We scream when Russia “cheats,” yet can’t imagine how our ABM missiles and troops on their border might threaten them. We look accusingly at China’s growing military, but we threatened them with nuclear weapons during the Korean War. Our missiles are loaded, theirs aren’t for they’ve maintained a strict defensive stand.

The best way to maintain national security is through skilled diplomacy. That man boasting “art of the deal” is a sham. The patience and expertise required for real diplomatic success spooks him. Spookiest of all is our collective fascination with his burgeoning smoke screen.

Ed Singer

rural Defiance

An open letter to Sen. Rob Portman:

As you are surely aware, Mr. Senator, Donald Trump has committed a number of impeachable offenses. These range from violating the emoluments clause of our Constitution to separating families at our southern border, a practice that was recently called a “crime against humanity” by the last living prosecutor to take part in the Nuremberg trials.

Nonetheless, in reply to my recent email to your office, you, Mr. Portman, either denied or ignored all of the above. Even so, I believe there is one charge that may impress you. I am not referring to the “quid pro quo” with the Ukrainian President, which Trump’s defenders are able to ignore despite its resemblance to the noses on their faces. Instead, I point to the fact that the President blatantly asked a foreign government to dig up dirt on a political enemy to influence the 2020 presidential election.

It is my belief that, in the United States, we live in a democracy where only citizens are meant to take part in the electoral process. And further, there is no evidence of wrong-doing by the president’s “political enemy,” Joe Biden. According to widely documented records over recent decades, Mr. Biden has consistently upheld all norms of governmental ethics. When dealing with Ukraine as Vice-President, he acted on behalf of the United States with international support through a fully transparent process. We can enjoy confidence in his efforts.

Indeed, as you well know, you joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in supporting Mr. Biden’s push for anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine! You signed a 2016 letter to this effect along with other members of the Senate Ukraine Caucus. Specifically mentioned was the need for “urgent reforms to the prosecutor general’s office.”

Mr. Portman, many of your constituents are less concerned about a literal quid pro quo than we are about the undeniable wrong-doing of the president’s now notorious phone call. You must see that the President abused the power of his office by attempting to enlist foreign aid in the service of his own political power.

We hope you may yet find the courage to uphold the laws of our land and stop defending a criminal president. When do you come up for re-election? We are watching and waiting and listening.

To those of you reading this letter, I challenge you to contact Mr. Portman, share your thoughts, too!

Marion Hanson

Defiance

‘Foreign assistance’ helpful to Trump

Fall weather is often ideal as I look forward to deer season — archery first, then gun season. Deer hunters are limited to three rounds in their guns, and no one squawks about Second Amendment rights, but try limiting 100-round clips in assault weapons and people freak.

Obama enacted a regulation that those receiving mental disability benefits go through an arduous, restrictive process before purchasing a gun. Trump immediately overturned that requirement, and now feigns concern about the mentally ill buying guns.

Trump urged Russians to hack his political opponents in 2016 which they did the same day, Mueller reported. Mueller exposed Paul Manafort, currently serving seven years in prison, in sending polling data on four Midwestern states to our most dangerous adversary so Russia could target voters in swing states on behalf of Trump. Russia’s interference was “sweeping and systematic” as characterized by Mueller.

The election was decided in three of those states (Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania) by 77,744 votes total, approximately one third the population of Fort Wayne. Foreign assistance was so helpful in 2016 that Trump sought it again the day after hearings ended on Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s criminal interference (12 Russians charged), Trump solicited the Ukraine’s president o help undermine his 2020 political rival.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) chairperson issued a memorandum on June 13, one month before Trump’s Ukraine call, saying, “Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: it is illegal for any person to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”

Trump publicly admitted soliciting Zelensky to investigate Biden one month after the FEC notification that it was illegal. Trump ignored the FEC because he had gotten away with asking for and receiving Russia’s help during the 2016 election. (“Russia, if you’re listening.”)

Trump has reliable Republicans backing his high crime and misdemeanor solicitation of foreign interference in American elections. Others are sickened by the mockery to our democracy that this president has made of this country. Romney wrote, “When the only American citizen Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent ... it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated.”

Fall can’t be Trump’s favorite season, but it’s mine as I prepare 100-round clips for hunting. Wait, law allows only three rounds! White-tailed deer are more protected than school children in Trump-world.

Rolland Myers

rural Oakwood

Remember mothers who lost infants

Oct. 15 is the National Day of Awareness for Pregnancy and Infant Loss. On this day, those wishing to honor lost babies are asked to light candles at 7 p.m. (all time zones).

Every year, thousands of women and families suffer through losing their children, both born and unborn. It is unfortunate that so many in our society feel uncomfortable addressing this issue or feel that it is insignificant. Grief is something no one should have to justify. Children who are miscarried or stillborn are still our children and deserve our respect, love, and remembrance.

Please, if you or someone you love has suffered this kind of loss, I ask you to take the time to remember them on Oct. 15. Light a candle, write a poem, say a prayer, anything you wish to do to honor our littlest angels.

I love you, Cassidy. Mommy still thinks of you every single day and misses you more with each day that passes.

Maryann Mitchell

Defiance

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