A number of readers commented ["Readers on Biden, Trump edits," Letters, Oct. 13] that on the Newsday editorial board’s not unexpected endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ["Joe Biden for president," Editorial, Oct. 11], for the most part charging that the board gave short shrift to President Donald Trump’s record of achievements. Indeed, some were not entirely wrong. But the one thing every letter had in common was that the writers ignored the total picture by ignoring Trump, the man and his very negative personal qualities, which are even acknowledged by many of his more articulate adherents. History demonstrates what happens when you choose to ignore a public figure’s personal qualities and selectively focus on only part of the picture. In 1920s Italy, a charismatic figure rose who made the trains run on time — a major accomplishment — so the populace ignored Benito Mussolini’s personal qualities, focusing only on the "record" of his accomplishments. And history shows where that got the Italians. The lesson for America and, in particular, for those who choose to only applaud Trump’s record, is not to overlook the total picture, including his personal qualities, rationalizing their choices because Trump may have — even if only partially — "made the trains run on time."
Alan R. Lichtenstein,
The editorial board kind of took it on the chin with its endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. However, being the good newspaper Newsday is, several readers with opposing views had their say. This is one of the main reasons I admire and respect Newsday. I’m no fan of President Donald Trump, nor do I have any great love of Biden. I feel we have terrible choices this election. I have not decided who I’m voting for. I’m certain that I am not alone in my thinking, and it is even possible that some on the editorial board feel the same way. I shall not denigrate nor sanctify either candidate. I merely wanted to commend Newsday on what I view as very evenhanded and fair reporting throughout this election campaign.
Lots of pushback over Newsday’s Oct. 11 endorsement of Joe Biden for president. While many of us may agree with the president’s stand on various issues — border security, abortion, conservative court appointees, trade policies, deregulation of business — the totality of his record, and whether he deserves reelection, must be weighed in our present divisive atmosphere of civil and racial unrest, climate denial and the world’s worst record of safeguarding our citizens amid the pandemic. To me, President Donald Trump disregards most norms of a president’s personal conduct, whether it’s releasing tax returns or divesting himself from personal business interests. I believe his singular focus on getting reelected has resulted in repeated lies to the American people and policies demonstrating a callous disregard for their safety. I feel we cannot take four more years of him.
My congratulations to Newsday’s editorial board for its endorsement of the Biden/Harris ticket. To me, President Donald Trump has been the worst president in my lifetime and probably the worst president in American history. I believe that former Vice President Joe Biden will restore decency, honesty, truthfulness, competence and at least some degree of unity back to America.
Catholic voters and the election
I am Catholic and active in my church. I was astounded to see the state’s Catholic clergy supporting President Donald Trump, who apparently has no moral compass ["Catholic vote is up for grabs in 2020," Opinion, Oct. 7].
He shows no respect for our Constitution, ignores science and medicine, and is unwilling to listen to experts for our country’s good. Instead, he sows racism and dissent, and insults our military. He admires murderous dictators and apparently wants to be our president for life. He’s currying favor with white supremacists. Has the clergy forgotten the children taken from their immigrant parents and kept in cages with little care? Some of their parents were deported.
The Trump administration kept few records of these families, and innocent children are still caged and virtually forgotten. Only after Trump became a Republican did he support overturning Roe v. Wade.
How, in the name of God, can the clergy be so blind that its only concern is Trump’s stand on abortion? What about the already alive children who are suffering? Jesus said what you do for the least of my brethren you do for me. Right now, Jesus is those children in cages.
Regarding Mary Jo McConahay’s op-ed "Catholic vote is up for grabs in 2020," my reading of Scripture finds no references to Jesus Christ cozying up to bigots, frauds, liars, womanizers, racists, tax cheats, white supremacists or money mongers. Nor can I spot any places where Christ curried favor with murderous foreign despots, disparaged the poor and downtrodden, belittled women, taunted people with disabilities, separated children from their parents, promoted violence against their opponents, consorted with crooks, encouraged domestic terrorists or mortgaged the truth (and his soul) for power.
President Donald Trump’s politically motivated opposition to abortion may earn him a seat in some Catholics’ pews, but not in those of people who truly understand what Christianity is all about.
As for the president himself, rather than spending time posing for photo ops with Bibles, he would do well to have a serious conversation with his conscience — assuming he can find it.
Richard J. Conway,
To me, the op-ed with a photo of Archbishop Timothy Dolan was mostly an anti-Trump diatribe, equating devout Catholics with the "hard-core MAGA crowd." I look forward to an alternate opinion piece explaining why devout Catholics have decided that President Donald Trump would be the best candidate to safeguard their values.
To Archbishop Timothy Dolan and all the Catholic and Jewish supporters of President Donald Trump, I ask this question: Have you considered the age-old Judeo-Christian principle that the "end never justifies the means"?
Before voting, try to consider that for this president what works for only him — while disregarding how it impacts the health and well-being of all American lives — always justifies the means. To me, his actions and words scream out his lack of empathy, sympathy and competence to love, respect and protect all Americans in our great country.
The op-ed describes the divide in the clergy between the so-called "far right" and those who favor a more open vision for the church. As a practicing Catholic, I believe this divide should not dictate how Catholics vote. Instead, we should decide based on all the issues that affect this country and which candidate will be the best choice.