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  1. Opinion

I served my country; I’m not its enemy

Here’s what readers had to say in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.
Veteran Michael Halper pays his respects to a friend killed in Vietnam ahead of a Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam War Memorial in Philadelphia this month. [MATT ROURKE  |  AP]
Veteran Michael Halper pays his respects to a friend killed in Vietnam ahead of a Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam War Memorial in Philadelphia this month. [MATT ROURKE | AP]
Published Nov. 26
Updated Nov. 26

I didn’t opt out of serving my nation

No enemy of the people

I dropped out of Long Island University in 1967, but I still had the ability to avoid Vietnam. I could have accepted a position in the Kentucky National Guard. I didn’t need to get a deferment for some dubious condition like bone spurs. The son of a World War II vet, I couldn’t make myself take advantage of my “white privilege.” I did what I felt was honorable and volunteered. I spent only a couple of months in Vietnam.

In 1969 at the University of Cincinnati I wore my prized Army field jacket to classes. A girl saw me and called me a baby burner. We now treat our vets much better. Or do we? Now in my senior years, I’m labeled an enemy of the country I served. I am a progressive who votes Democratic. An enemy of the nation.

I used the G.I. Bill to major in journalism and enjoyed a career in the media. Again, I have been identified as an enemy of the people, a purveyor of “fake news.”

I worked for several years picking up raw milk from Florida’s dairy farms and met and worked with many Mexicans, some undocumented. I learned to love my Mexican brothers without asking to see their papers. I am an enemy of the people. I’ve returned to watch my black brothers shot in the back while fleeing the police, worse still, shot in broad daylight for responding to police orders to produce I.D. and reaching into their glove compartments for that I.D. I understand the Black Lives Matter protests. Is this why I fought? Did I make the right decision back then? The commander in chief has identified me as an enemy of the nation I served.

Lee Nolan, St. Petersburg

What a Senate trial will show

The impeachment inquiry

President Donald Trump [PATRICK SEMANSKY | AP]

Impeachment won’t remove Donald Trump from office, but the inquiry and Senate trial will expose possible corruption in his administration and reveal whether or not he abused the power of the presidency for personal political gain. How can Americans think our 2020 elections are secure if the president of the United States is found to have sought help from a foreign government to influence their outcome? These are important facts we need to find out before we cast our votes in the next presidential election.

Anthony Edl, Odessa

Votes should count equally

The Electoral College

A map of the 2016 election by congressional district. [Wikimedia Commons]

I wonder how many people understand how a presidential election works. It’s actually 50 separate elections because elections are run by each state. Personally, I think every vote should count exactly the same but, in reality, it doesn’t. The less populated states gain a huge advantage. The Electoral College is the main culprit in all votes not counting the same. For a Florida voter to have the same voting power as a Wyoming resident, Florida should have 110 electoral college votes instead of 29. It is basic math. Wyoming has three votes and a population of 600,000, so each vote represents 200,000. Florida has 22 million people and 29 votes — about 800,000 for each vote. Sadly it gets worse. States decide how to apportion their electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska break it down by congressional district, but other states give all their votes to whomever wins the popular vote. Florida’s winner-take-all is a terrible way to apportion our electoral votes. Win by one vote — or in George Bush’s case, 537 — and not only do all those losing votes not count, but they actually go over to count for the other side. Each vote should exactly the same.

F.M. Younglove, Brandon

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