Give Biden a chance to govern | Column, Jan. 29
Our duty to the Constitution
I’m a Democrat, but I like to think of myself as someone who is open-minded. I mean I understand everyone has different interests and agendas, but I can’t understand the Republican Party or at least their representatives in Congress. Do they not understand that their duty lies not to their party or own aspirations, but to the Constitution of the United States?
It’s their duty to protect the republic from all enemies of the United States, whether that danger comes from without or within. Recently there were those who invaded the hallowed halls of our Capitol, the seat of our government, the heart of our country, and these individuals were encouraged by former President Donald Trump.
Throughout history brave men and women have sacrificed their lives, their futures and fortunes to ensure that the United States would endure. There was a time when members of Congress would disagree, but they would discuss, argue and try to reach a compromise that would benefit the majority of Americans. Alas, I fear that time has passed.
I don’t have any answers. I wish I did. My only hope is that both parties can step back and regroup. I see promise on both sides of the aisle. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., are two that I think can make a difference if given a chance.
In the meantime I think it would benefit both parties to be forced to sit down and watch the classic film Mr. Smith goes to Washington to remind them why they are there.
It’s not about them, it’s about us , and our country, the United States of America — not the Republican or Democratic parties, it’s about our country, the one people have fought and died for.
Paul Chan, St. Petersburg
DeSantis targets ‘active seniors’ for vaccine effort | Jan. 28
Why do we go first?
I was shocked to see Gov. Ron DeSantis standing by a sign saying “Seniors First” when he gave an update on COVID-19. My care should be designed solely for me, not for a group. Please take my allotment of the vaccine and spend it on the poor young men, lying behind buildings, sick, cold and in pain.
Do we want a country where one group is treated like royalty and another is treated like untouchables in a stratified society? My 80th birthday has come and gone. Still, I hope someday to see the “Seniors First” signs leave to join the “Whites Only” signs I remember from my childhood.
Beverley J. Combs, St. Petersburg
Pelosi cites ‘enemy within,’ need for House security | Jan. 29
Here’s what I renounce
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green was elected by the citizens of a district in Georgia to represent them in Congress, even after she was commonly known to have engaged in extremely reprehensible behavior. If that is who those constituents feel is there best choice, so be it. Having said that, the Republican caucus does have the power to minimize her by not giving her committee assignments, etc.
As long as the Republican Party refuses to denounce the enablers of anarchists and supremacists within the party, they are the party of anarchists and supremacists. I have been a registered Republican the entirety of my adult life and let me be unequivocal here: I denounce anarchists, supremacists and seditionists.
See how easy that was.
Terry Arnold, St. Petersburg
We’re poles apart at defining ‘unity’ | Column, Jan. 28
What leads to trouble
One of the least-known theories for the origin of the Civil War is that the constant electioneering, campaigning and rabble rousing in both North and South in the years before the war produced such a toxic atmosphere that compromise was impossible and conflict inevitable.
In 1856, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Preston Brooks, an advocate for slavery and states’ rights, almost beat to death Sen. Charles Sumner after an anti-slavery speech. Florida admirers of Brooks named their town after him as did communities in Georgia and West Virginia.
When the majority of a political party challenge the validity of an election in spite of the evidence, when party loyalty is more important than condemning violence in the halls of Congress, and when communities elect representatives who advocate the assassination of members of the opposing party, are we not already in the cauldron that could consume this nation once again?
Charles Bishop, St. Pete Beach
Can conservatives recover? | Another voice, Jan. 25
What is a conservative?
Garry Kasparov ponders whether conservatives can recover from their identity crisis. He makes a lot of good points, but leaves a muddle rather than convince me there’s a viable future for those with conservative sensibilities. Why is that? It’s because the normal labels, although convenient at times, have become jumbled and meaningless.
What does conservatism mean anymore? What is the real political view of those who call themselves “the right,” and how does it square with conservatism? Throw in the confusion of the Republican Party and the tumult of Trumpism and it’s obvious that all prior branding has morphed into a confused mess.
I’m not a Republican, but I see it as bad for the country not to have a loyal opposition. As a country, we are at our best when the mix of our top minds move the country in positive directions. It’s obvious we’ve lost the recipe for good governance. I’d like to get back there, but I don’t see that happening until there’s a reconciliation of conservatives within a Republican Party unencumbered by the chaos of our former president.
Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport
Republicans condemned Trump. Now they’re seeking his help. | Jan. 29
Stay home and work
Why are our representative in other states protesting when they should be doing what the taxpayers are paying them to do? I see that Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz was protesting in Wyoming. Why? The residents of Florida pay taxes for all their representatives to address the needs of our state. This is one reason why nothing can get done.
Burton McDaniel, Sun City Center