Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday’s letters: We’re all just trying to get home, one zip tie at a time

I detest Trump, but a ‘redneck’ fixed my Prius with zip ties | Feb. 3, Ruth Mayer column

We’re all just trying to get home

Like columnist Ruth Mayer, I too am trying to find my level ground, my level-set. I too have held a tremendously deep resentment of the man currently in the Oval Office and have harbored incredible anger and disappointment over the fact that he is in that office. Yet, in my day-to-day dealings, I have been able to level-set myself and carry on. I am a "handy man," a guy who gets hired to fix things. Through the course of my work I encounter people of every political leaning, and I remain totally politically agnostic with them.

My observation? Ms. Mayer is right: We are all just trying to get home; just trying to live our lives. And my level-set mechanism is that individually we all have so many personal, family, friend and job-related priorities that there just isn’t room for the noise that this man in the Oval Office is making. Yet, awkwardly, his noise seeps in.

Perhaps because of the audacity of his statements they are difficult to tune out. And that’s the truly unfortunate part of this, that his belligerence replaces the real needs in our lives. But there is no need for that, and it is up to us individually to focus on what is important, to focus on what we can accomplish, and not get caught up in the blitz of ugly noise.

I am brought back to something from Voltaire: "Those that can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." I hope that is not the intent, but sometimes it sure feels like it. In the end though, as Ms. Mayer states, we are all just trying to get home.

Bill McManus, Oldsmar

A ‘redneck’ fixed my Prius | Mayer column

Welcome to our old world

The revealing part of Ruth Mayer’s column is where she laments how, for the previous eight years, "people of every political persuasion" in her neighborhood got along so well. It exemplified the "best impulses of America." However, since the start of the "national nightmare," she has "retreated from her porch" into a solitude of "bottomless fury."

Has it occurred to Ms. Mayer that she lived harmoniously with the "moderate Republican(s)" in her neighborhood during the years of the Obama administration because they are more broad-minded than she? Could it be that the tea partiers on her block were not driven by intolerance into childish tantrums because they are mature adults? Perhaps that’s why they were able to "put a cohesive neighborhood above politics." This infantile wretchedness is widespread on the left today, as is her conundrum. How does one nurse a burning hatred of the president without being hateful to everyone who doesn’t? It isn’t possible, apparently.

Lee Craig, Treasure Island

Resist the meanness

Ruth Mayer poignantly and accurately captures the essence of the dilemma that I suspect many of us experience. I am filled with a daily revulsion to what President Donald Trump is doing to this country, and that includes the impact of his deeds on me personally. I can see the division sown by Trump’s words and actions take root in the attitudes I have toward people with whom I interact on a daily basis. I assess Donald Trump to be the worst president in my lifetime, especially with respect to his role of uniting us as a nation, but I must take responsibility for my own responses. Part of my "resistance" must be to reject, in myself, the mean-spirited smallness that Donald Trump exhibits so consistently. I plan to remind myself that many of us are just "trying to get home."

Jonathan Jaberg, Largo

We don’t drag our knuckles

The Trump supporter who helped Ruth Mayer during the emergency with her Prius is not an outlier. He is typical of most of them — some of whom have advanced degrees. Not all Trump voters are rednecks. Thanks for humanizing the other half of the country, which the elite media usually portrays as delusional, knuckle-dragging miscreants.

John Augustine, St. Petersburg

A personal choice for us

When I was young, my father taught me that I could not control what other people did, but I could control my reactions. Others cannot make me angry. That is a choice I make. Later in life, as a counselor at my church, I talked to people whose lives were torn apart by the anger and resentment they carried due to the actions of others. Often, the target of their anger did not suffer any ill effects. I found that when they could release that anger and resentment, their quality of life improved. Medical studies have shown that resentment is detrimental to our mental and physical health. As I read the essay, I felt sorry for columnist Ruth Mayer because she was letting her anger control her life instead of taking responsibility for it.

I refrain from taking a political stance here, but we seem to have gone from a nation of the offended to a nation of the angry. As Ariel Durant, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author said, "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." I pray daily we can overcome the hate and anger that seems to be growing and replace it with loving concern for each other. It is a personal choice each of us can make.

John Robbins, Apollo Beach

Look in the mirror

The author "hates waking up when Donald Trump is president." It is ironic that she blames others and doesn’t know how to hold on to the "fire" going on inside of herself, for which she takes great pride. A look in the mirror and cleaning up her anger would be a great place to start.

Suzanne Tedeschi, Odessa

Disagree, but get along

Once again we witness the refusal to take personal responsibility for one’s attitudes and actions. Is Donald Trump really ruining Ruth Mayer? Is Trump truly responsible for her ill will and decreased desire to be kind? No! Her attitudes and actions belong to her. It is entirely possible to disagree with others and dislike the political climate while maintaining an attitude of goodwill toward others. It’s called being a mature adult.

Amy Simmons, Land O’Lakes

Comments

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18