TODAY'S PAPER

Newsday letters to the editor for Sunday, July 29, 2018

President Donald Trump pauses as he delivers remarks about the economy on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday. Photo Credit: AP / Evan Vucci

Letters about President Donald Trump continue to pour in, outnumbering all other topics in the news. Here is a sampling.

 

The editorial board asked, “When are words alone reason enough to destroy a nation?” [“Trump blusters into riskier arena,” Editorial, July 24].

The editorial referred to Iran’s threat that “war with Iran is the mother of all wars.” The Trump administration...

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Letters about President Donald Trump continue to pour in, outnumbering all other topics in the news. Here is a sampling.

 

The editorial board asked, “When are words alone reason enough to destroy a nation?” [“Trump blusters into riskier arena,” Editorial, July 24].

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The editorial referred to Iran’s threat that “war with Iran is the mother of all wars.” The Trump administration has no desire to destroy Iran. President Donald Trump simply wants to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands. He put Iran on notice that he will not tolerate any provocation against the United States. Iran cannot be viewed as more dangerous than North Korea, which does possess nuclear weapons.

The board also states that the flow of oil from the Middle East is at stake, as well as the fragile stability of the region. The United States does not import oil from Iran. The United States is the top oil-producing country, followed by Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and Canada.

Also, Iran is responsible for the instability of the region. It is involved in the affairs of Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. Iran has a close bond with Hezbollah, supplying it with arms to destroy its bitter enemy, Israel. Regarding NATO, if those relationships were undermined, that is on its other members. Trump merely insisted that they pay their fair share.

Lawrence J. Beufve, Lindenhurst

My politics are liberal and progressive. As such, I do not think favorably of our president. I happen to be a veteran of the Army and am proud of my service. As such, my car license plates reflect my veteran status. I also display a small U.S. flag decal on the back window of my car.

Some of my friends have pointed out to me that my displays reflect a position that would tend to support President Donald Trump. I think it is important for people to understand that one can support his or her own patriotism and yet be opposed to our president’s performance.

Richard Jacobson, Plainview

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In a July 22 letter, a reader asked why supporters of President Donald Trump are so angry [“Two views of Trump presidency”].

I don’t know where this woman has been, but surely she must be blind to the anti-Trump rants of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), telling liberals to harass people in his administration. In addition, antifa (anti-fascist) demonstrators beat a Trump supporter in Berkeley, California, and broke windows on Inauguration Day in Washington. The only anger I see is from liberals who can’t accept the election result.

Ray Crescenzi, Patchogue

In the letter asking why Trump supporters are angry, the word “Democrats” should be substituted. Does that letter writer read the papers or watch TV? All the anger is from Trump opponents. His press secretary was asked to leave a restaurant. An Uber driver refused to serve a group of young adults wearing “Make America Great Again” hats going to a Trump Hotel function. Liberals protest conservative free speech on college campuses.

Marlene D’Amelia, Hicksville

In response to “Two views of Trump presidency,” I was astounded by and appalled at the suggestion that this president is “on a trajectory to Mount Rushmore.”

This is a man who has alienated and insulted our longtime allies, praised and sided with despotic and murderous autocrats, filled Washington with swamp creatures so slimy that many have been removed from their positions, lied constantly and boldly to the American people, repeatedly shown us his racist leanings, criticized NFL players for not standing for our national anthem when he doesn’t seem to know its words, and still suggests that actors other than Russians could have meddled in our elections. That is just a small list of the embarrassing and humiliating displays we witness every day from this self-serving narcissist. Mount Rushmore would crumble.

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Ellen Fusaro, East Northport

President Donald Trump’s woeful performance in Helsinki is reminiscent of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s fiasco in 1938 in Munich, when, after meeting with Adolf Hitler and signing a peace accord, he returned home to boldly announce “peace in our time.” The following year, World War II broke out after Germany invaded Poland.

Vladimir Putin is the closest thing we’ve seen to Hitler in the last 30 years, and yet our president continues to praise him. Such servile behavior by the supposed leader of the free world is an embarrassment to America and reflects on Trump’s ignorance, his lack of historical knowledge and his refusal to heed the advice of the U.S. intelligence community. We don’t need this kind of thoughtless behavior from a man controlling a vast nuclear arsenal.

Ed Swensson, Lake Grove

18 U.S. Code § 2381 (the definition of treason in federal law): “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

Kenneth Dodge, East Hampton

It is a sad day in U.S. history when personal opinion is tolerated only if it is in agreement with the progressives. For example, representatives in Congress have urged the harassment of the other party’s political members and appointees, and leftist media constantly hammers the president on every issue. Yet, the Islamic State is on the verge of collapse, the economy is thriving, unemployment is at an all-time low for most ethnic groups, and the United States is again becoming the world leader in global affairs.

On global economics, the progressives believe it is OK for the United States to pay tariffs on our exports that are more than four times higher than our tariffs on imports.

The United States’ success in achieving international harmony would be better served if there were a unified front supporting the president’s initiatives. However, leftist media and political progressives continue to spew propaganda in denial of the election results and keep throwing obstacles in the path to any progress that may be attributed to their opponents.

Joe Ruszczyk, Kings Park

Why is President Donald Trump turning against this country’s allies in favor of Russia? Russia has always wanted NATO dissolved, but NATO has stood as a first line of defense against Russian aggression. Russia is not and never has been a friend of the United States or of Western democracy. So why Russia? Could it be something as simple as Russia financing Trump’s businesses?

Journalist James Dodson said that when asked about American banks refusing to lend to Trump, Eric Trump told him in 2014, “We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

Leonard Meisels, Plainview

Racism, sexism, hatred, violence; hostility to free speech, the press and human rights; protectionism and trade wars with many nations, even allies, but not Russia. This is America 2018.

Steven Ross, Kew Gardens

At a rally Tuesday, the president said, “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

I really wish what he has said and done in office didn’t happen, but unfortunately, he has created chaos and caused problems where there were none.

He started with making a false claim about his inauguration crowd size, then issuing the Muslim travel ban, attempting to repeal Obamacare, straining the NATO alliance and insulting our allies, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, inciting North Korea, separating children from their parents seeking asylum and putting them in cages, and kissing up to Vladimir Putin while discrediting his intelligence people.

Now we have sex, lies and audiotapes from his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

But according to Trump, we are not to believe any of this. It’s fake news and the Russia probe is a big witch hunt. And we all know a stable genius wouldn’t do any of these things.

Ann Leahy, Wantagh

As a concerned citizen, I worry about our nation and look at history for solutions. I wonder how dramatically different our nation would have become had our current president been in office in the 1930s. Unemployment reached 25 percent and parents went to bed hungry so their children could eat. There was no end in sight to the economic devastation inflicting our nation. Cities were crowded with immigrants speaking foreign languages, yet Franklin Delano Roosevelt steered us away from fear and scapegoating. He created an environment for us to become the world’s greatest nation.

Fast-forward to today, where our problems are a small fraction of what they were then. I’ve been an independent voter my entire life, and when I hear supporters of the president complain about Democrats being whiners and complainers, I say to myself, “Do you ever listen to yourselves?”

Our nation should look back on some of our great leaders in the past from both parties. Every one of them would be horrified to see who occupies the White House today.

Jeff Fass, Sayville

Correction: The letter above has been updated to clarify that the writer was speculating on a Trump presidency in the 1930s. The decade had been omitted because of an editing error.

It is obvious that President Donald Trump does not have the patience, knowledge or real desire to lead the people in this country morally.

I can barely understand how he got elected. Now that we have witnessed his heartless ruthlessness as president, why aren’t the politicians registering their indignation and disgust? The Republicans are immoral in their tacit support of Trump but the Democrats are as bad for not fighting this inept president much more actively. The politicians have always worked slowly, but isn’t Trump’s presidency reason for a new approach? Why don’t we decide on a date for civil disobedience? We cannot afford not to take universal action. The citizens have a right to have a president who cares about learning his responsibilities.

Elliot Schwartz, Holbrook

 

In September 2016, President Barack Obama met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss the intelligence community’s knowledge and warning that Russians were interfering in the elections. At the time, the president wanted to issue a bipartisan statement to the American people alerting us to that assessment, according to former Vice President Joe Biden.

McConnell said he would not permit the statement to be issued and that doing so would be treated as an act of partisan politics. So, who exactly was it that denied Americans this knowledge and put his thumb on the scale? McConnell and Ryan are as complicit as the Russian hackers.

Marjorie Lundgren, Stony Brook

Some people seem surprised that a Republican president would take the word of a Russian adversary over his own Republican appointees to the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and other American intelligence agencies, which unanimously concluded that Russia meddled in our 2016 elections. The special counsel, Robert Mueller, has obtained indictments of 35 people, including many Russian operatives, and five guilty pleas. Despite Trump’s bluster, he has always been a weak, even cowardly man. His “summit” with Vladimir Putin proved it. Sadly, there will still be some individuals in Trump’s cult who will cling to him until the embarrassing end.

Robert Mays, Freeport

It amazes me not that people can have different opinions and interpretations of the same current events, but that people can have opinions that are so diametrically opposed. I am not a supporter of President Donald Trump, but I sincerely want to understand what specific “greatness” his supporters see in him — anything — and I just don’t. Unfortunately, no staunch Trump supporter has offered anything more than vague allusions or slogans to help me and many others see whatever “greatness” they so clearly see.

Robert Emproto, Huntington

President Donald Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House [“Putin invited to a D.C. summit,” News, July 20]. Trump’s embarrassing groveling in Helsinki wasn’t frightening enough; now, “competitor” Putin (as opposed to our “foe,” the European Union) will be here.

Why frightening? Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats learned of the invitation from NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. He and the U.S. intelligence community apparently still know nothing of the Helsinki private meeting’s details. Congress has been rumbling about subpoenaing Trump’s translator to discover any secret agreements. Senators voted 98-0 against Putin’s request to send our former ambassador to Russia back to the Kremlin for interrogation. Trump seemed to consider this request reasonable, even though we just formally indicted 12 Russian Main Intelligence Directorate members for meddling in our presidential election.

Trump should denounce Putin’s aggression against Ukraine and Georgia and his threatening of NATO member Montenegro, but the bromance continues. The administration’s staff still races around trying to clean up Trump’s unscripted public statements, perhaps the most frightening of which is calling the U.S. press “the real enemy of the people.”

Hank Cierski, Port Jefferson Station

President Donald Trump’s statements in Helsinki were treasonous. What else did he say to Vladimir Putin that we do not know about? We have a president who was elected by the Electoral College, not the popular vote. He is a consummate liar and then tries to backtrack to get himself out of situations. He is probably the least intelligent, least well-read president we have ever had. In addition, Congress is letting him get away with everything. He has antagonized many of our allies, and where is Congress?

Congress needs to do its job: Censure him, impeach him or bring him up on a charge of treason.

Ruben Friedman, Central Islip

It is ironic – and sad – that the man who denigrated our intelligence community, trashed our allies, and sided with our greatest adversary in Helsinki, has condemned football players who protest peacefully by taking a knee during the national anthem as un-American. The man who has betrayed and embarrassed our country on the world stage labels football players taking a stand on racial injustice as unpatriotic, and says they should be fired.

It is President Donald Trump who took a knee in Helsinki — not in protest, but in supplication to the man-god he most admires, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. He has given new meaning to the term “bully pulpit,” with his juvenile and insulting tweets, his constant labeling of our most respected news organizations as “fake news,” and his disparaging of his own Justice Department and FBI. His tirades against the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller are indeed frightening. His refusal to listen to his own advisers and his own party is mind-boggling. His total disregard for addressing climate change and the health of our planet, at a time when we may be at a tipping point, is downright terrifying.

A few weeks ago we had planned to meet Canadian friends of ours in the Berkshires for a brief vacation. They pulled out, reluctantly, a week before, saying that the United States is the one country in the world where they don’t feel comfortable now, and couldn’t in conscience come here. In our upside-down world, we have alienated our friends and embraced our most dangerous adversaries.

Trump has disgraced the office of the presidency in so many ways that the latest scandal du jour no longer has shock value. Numbness has replaced outrage as our reaction to this terribly unfit and dangerous president.

How much longer will this madness go on?

Michael Golden, Great Neck

 

Lane Filler’s column “Trump backers will never pivot either” [Opinion, July 25] was right on the money. He eloquently stated what I’ve felt all along.

We elected a man who has belittled veterans and war heroes and mocked disabled persons. He has succeeded in angering our longtime allies while befriending our enemies. He smiles a childish smirk that seems to state, “Because I’m the president, that’s why,” particularly when he is belittling others.

Everything is about him, and he deflects blame and denies responsibility for anything that doesn’t make him look good.

His childish, churlish behavior is grossly unbecoming a public official. We don’t tolerate bullying in our schools or harassment in the workplace. Why, then, do we accept such inadequacy from the one person who is supposed to set an example?

Paul Holtzman, Manorville