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Feedback 8/17 

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Our choices led us here

The first time I was of age to vote was during my undergraduate days in Ithaca. At that time, discussions in Democratic circles were to get behind whoever opposed Ronald Reagan because of the dire consequences of his gaining office.

That tired refrain, which was repeated in this paper's column on Secretary Clinton (Urban Journal, August 3), has been pulled out election after election. I have heard the phrase "lesser of two evils" a thousand times.

Collectively, we ignored Dr. King's warning to avoid becoming well-adjusted to a maladjusted society, and Dwight Eisenhower's words about the consequences of an unchecked military-industrial complex.

The downstream consequences of choosing the lesser of two evils over decades now yields a Republican candidate enthusiastically endorsed by a Klan leader and a Democratic candidate who actively supports military intervention in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.

Clinton's perspective and actions over the years enabled the murder of children, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandmas, and grandpas using our tax dollars for the simple crime of living in a country that for whatever reason was of political interest to the United States. Consequently, we become ever more insecure.

Our moral authority, purchased in part by tens of thousands of American lives in the first world wars, is smashed. Results also include trillions spent on wars, enormous unpaid federal debt, and an epidemic of daily suicides by veterans, among other grave consequences. We will have more of the same under Clinton's leadership.

If we cannot find it within ourselves to move beyond the two-party paradigm, then I suggest two new parties: those who believe that the current political system works, and those who do not.

Organizing along those lines could be fruitful. In the meantime I will "waste my vote," along with people like Dr. Cornel West, on a third party. Business as usual is over, friends, for better or for worse.


Trump could be GOP's end

Mr. Trump is at it again, this time with a thinly-veiled reference to the Second Amendment crowd. The candidate crossed yet another line, and didn't care. You know, the more one listens to his shtick, his false bravado, his sociopathic rants, the more it's clear that he really isn't that intelligent; just an egocentric, spoiled, petulant, ignorant, vengeful narcissist. (Hey, #ManyPeopleAreSaying)

I have always been intrigued by, entertained by, confused by, and amused by the world of politics. Until this past year.

It's difficult to fathom how a charlatan has ascended to the top of the GOP ticket. And even though a rabid base of homophobes, Islamophobes, white-male-chauvinist racists, flat-earthers, and Bible-thumpers has always been part of the Republican Party, this year is different.

It appears that this is the last gasp of the GOP's previously white majority. They are freaking out at all the changes that we the people have eked out over the last decades: civil rights, women's rights, human rights, LGBT rights, voting rights, workers' rights. They are livid, and want to make America great again. All they've accomplished with Mr. Trump is the alarming capacity to make America hate again.

Throughout my politically aware life, there has always been a divide. And most of the time, a compromise was found. This changed, first with the election of Ronald Reagan, and then with the election of Barack Hussein Obama. How dare we elect a black man president? How dare the Democrats win two elections in a row?

The colorful and beautiful changing of our demographics left the GOP with gerrymandering, voter suppression, a no-compromise Congress, and now, Donald Trump. Hey, GOP, be careful what you wish for.

Our electorate, especially in a general election, understands the need for statesmanship, intelligence, curiosity, allies and partners, treaties, and inclusiveness. Mr. Trump does not. His acolytes do not. And he may crash and burn his party.

That possibility excites me. This is going to be fun.

So I will watch with interest how the next 90 days unfold. And unless HRC is proven to be a member of ISIL, the decimation of the demagogue will be complete. The knuckle-draggers will be spanked, Bernie will be thanked, and the GOP will have tanked.


Nuanced nuclear

The public should be concerned about aging nuclear power plants that are "struggling" financially and operating with safety issues. If our energy future must have nuclear power, that does not mean that we should keep aging, unsafe power plants going. These are two different issues.

Proponents of the need for nuclear power to address climate change should distinguish keeping aging nuclear power plants from new-generation nuclear (which can reuse spent nuclear materials) and small nuclear power operations (which can be built for less money and provide backup for renewable energy such as wind and solar).

It would be helpful to the public and our ability to plan for the future if our media investigated how safe aging nuclear power plants are when these local nuclear power plants are struggling financially and continually having safety issues. And keep that issue separate from next-generation nuclear power.


Sneaky Sanders

I hardly feel that Democrats owed Bernie Sanders unbiased support against a longtime party member who has held office. We do indeed live in a two-party system and the way to participate is to be a member of the party. Bernie wanted to have it both ways, when it was the only way to achieve his objective.


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