Apparently, our American greatness flowed from the freedom to lynch, the freedom to pollute and the freedom to harass women. Seriously people, are we going to let these clowns do this?

David Warnock

Hood River

‘Bigly plans’

President Trump’s bigly plans to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain should be kicking in any day now. His policies and rhetoric are ensuring that even people from sh@%hole countries will think twice about coming here.

Our trade war with China is a disaster. The president’s chest-puffing and useless Tweets have done nothing except damage existing trade partner relationships, hurt our economy, left American farmers with literally tons of crops rotting in storage, and cost taxpayers bigly.

The culture created by Trump’s never-ending cynical comments about people of color, including elected American congresswomen and American judges, continues to polarize us. The last time a fear-based model of US versus THEM was this strong occurred during World War II, when we shamefully placed Japanese Americans in camps.

The culture our president has created is fueling a new breed of self-appointed, psychotic, militia-like policy enforcers. They are young, native-born, disenfranchised, white American men who just need a scapegoat and a little encouragement from their leader. Every one of these men has access to a high-capacity assault weapon made possible because millions of dollars every year is donated to lawmakers to keep it so.

Any person seeking asylum in the U.S. right now must have super bigly problems in their own country (citizens of s@%thole countries need not apply regardless). Members of “preferred” regions like Scandinavia do not seem willing to make this bigly mistake. I have yet to see a Tweet touting the huge increase in applicants seeking to embark on the utopian vision of our president.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

‘Cry babies’

“Cry babies” is a favorite label given by right wing supporters of the current president, who spoke of a term in office as a “reign” recently in a Tweet. There are those whose names readers of this newspaper can easily recognize as supporters of the current occupant of the White House. But it seems to me that they are the babies who cry the loudest when things happen that further reveal the ineptitude and corruption of the current administration in Washington. Familiar names to all who regularly read the Letters to the Editor page in the Hood River News would prefer to meet no opposition on this page or elsewhere. They suggest that opposing points of view are “crying.” Editorial cartoons are just that. Editorial. Get over yourselves and get used to opposition … it will not abate, until the “reign” is over.

Pennie Burns

Hood River

Recommit to civility

Bigotry, racism, xenophobia. All reflect intolerance, in some specific form:

Bigotry: “Obstinate or intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices.”

Racism: “A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

Xenophobia: “Fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.”

It is deeply troubling that all three words arguably apply to — in fact, might be defining traits of — the current U.S. president.

It is even more troubling that these traits were not hidden prior to the 2016 election — yet, he got elected.

It is further troubling that he is not the first U.S. president to be xenophobic, racist or bigoted — even if he distinctively combines all three forms of intolerance into a blunt political tool.

However, perhaps most troubling is our political discourse being overwhelmed by bigotry. Personified but not exclusive to this president, political bigotry is embraced by each of us — red, blue or otherwise — when we intolerantly close our minds to different opinions.

We must reflect on what all this says about us as individuals, communities and country. And we must do (much) better.

Only then can we build a society …

… That is an inspiring beacon of freedom, democracy and hope.

… That protects itself from external enemies, but does not fear or hate based on where people are born.

… That finds in its diversity — in race, political opinions, and so much more — a source of pride, strength, vitality, success and quality of life.

… That remains healthy through a cultural blend of entrepreneurship, innovation, ethics, tolerance and compassion — while respecting and protecting the land, water and air that we all need to survive and prosper.

… Where we would want our grandkids, and theirs, to grow up and thrive.

We must proceed without panic or despair, but in all due haste. Starting with a renewed commitment to civility — both in the narrow sense of civilized dialogue, and in the broader sense of constructive, participatory citizenry.

(Note: Definitions from the Merriam Webster dictionary.)

Antonio Baptista

Mount Hood-Parkdale

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