They are all Americans | Editorial, July 16
Fearing we're not 'better than this'
Your editorial was spot-on except for the last sentence. America is not better than this. We elected Donald Trump despite a campaign filled with misogynistic and racist tropes, narcissism bordering on mental illness, a disdain for facts and a history of bankruptcies indicating he was not the hotshot businessman he claimed to be. All those elements pointed to a candidate deserving of a fringe vote of maybe 15 percent. Instead, his popular vote was well over 40 percent. So no, America is not currently better than the anti-semitism, the threats to democracy, the inhumane treatment of immigrants, appeals to white nationalism and the denials of climate change that you properly mention as dangerously divisive. Spectators at American sporting events are always screaming "We're No. 1," but the reality is that there is very little data that supports such a chant.
I immigrated to America as a young boy. As a result, I have an easily identifiable accent. In the early 1960s, I did some civil rights work registering voters in Virginia. A high official of the KKK heard me speak and asked me if I was "one of them Jews from New York." He told me to go back where I came from. If I was prescient, I would have replied, "I will go back to my multi-ethnic, polyglot, working-class neighborhood in Queens, about three miles from the white enclave home of Donald Trump, your intellectual and spiritual future leader." Instead, my friend and I got in my car and sped off. I remember looking in the rear view mirror, seeing the Confederate flag waving from the bed of the pick-up truck coming toward us.
David Nathanson, Tampa
'Many people agree with me' | July 16
Attacking people, not ideas
Our president once again shows his true colors by telling four women duly elected to Congress to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came" because they disagree with him. Once again he attacks people instead of ideas. Although he sees nothing wrong with belittling women, by belittling these women, he also belittles the people who voted for them, the good people of their districts in New York, Minnesota, Michigan and Massachusetts.
Cheri LaBelle, Gulfport
Fla. senators mixed on Trump tweet | July 17
Embarrassed for senators
As I read this article, I was embarrassed for Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. It is a tactic of hiding and not saying anything that might upset the president, and that is not what we elected them to do. Meanwhile, the four women of "the squad" are doing exactly what the president has suggested. They are serving their constituents by working in government trying to "fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came," the United States.
Rosanne Paris, Palm Harbor
County eyes trash savings | July 16
Learn from others on trash
I would be curious to know what other community the size of Tampa or Hillsborough County has once-a-week garbage pickup and how long have they had it going on and the success or pros and cons related to the service. We keep paying more in taxes, and yet the services are diminishing. Used to be when you went to a county park entry fees were part of your assessments, not anymore.
Joe Voskerichian, Tampa