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Our body politic needs a wellness visit | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
A view of the U.S. Capitol Building.
A view of the U.S. Capitol Building. [ ANNA MONEYMAKER | Getty Images North America ]
Published Sep. 11

Dangerous and destructive thinking

Citizens are united and legislators don’t represent us | Column, Sept. 8

In recent years we have seen our political leaders resort to such divisive tactics as name calling and stereotyping of their opponents and of their opponents’ supporters, labelling them as dangerous or socially unacceptable merely because of their political affiliation. We have heard about groups of people clinging to their guns and religion or being somehow in a basket of deplorables, and now we are hearing about the MAGA semi-fascists. Clearly the majority of American citizens cannot see this as in anyway helpful to leading our country and bringing us together, yet this incivility seems to be threading its way through the entire fabric of the soul of our nation, even tearing apart friendships and families in many cases. Some want to blame this on the internet or social media, on the rise of identity group politics, on geographical and political sorting or on the decline of journalistic integrity. Whatever it is, I have not seen anything like it before in my lifetime, and I believe it is very dangerous and destructive. Some really smart people need to find a way to fix this before it comes to a bad end for us all.

Charles Michael Sitero, Ormond Beach

It’s the cars that kill

Deadlier than NYC to cross a road here | Editorial, Sept. 4

The editorial concerning pedestrian and cyclist deaths is on the money. Infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists is lacking, and even where implemented is inconsistent and often ends without warning. Bike lanes either go through intersections in a poorly designed way, or end abruptly and with no warning. While there are several lovely trails in the Tampa Bay area, the ability to travel from one point to another throughout Tampa Bay in safety doesn’t exist. While may areas in suburbia have lovely wide sidewalks and wide cycling lanes or paths, most of Tampa does not. Ironically, we have the worst infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists where more people depend on those modes of transportation.

Cue the “cyclists think they own the road” and “pedestrians cross at the wrong places” and “we don’t have enough lanes for cars as it is.” Everyone has their own favorite complaints. As a motorist and a cyclist, I see cyclists and motorists behaving poorly. I see pedestrians eschew controlled crossings that are a half block away. The difference is that poor driving on the part of a motorist endangers everyone around them, particularly those not protected by 3,000 pounds of metal.

There are real infrastructure investments that need to be made to solve this problem, and real attitude adjustments by all users of our thoroughfares.

Jerry Nepon-Sixt, Tampa

The power of the positive

First, the good news | Column, Sept. 4

Probably the best news I’ve fully absorbed in a couple of years. As mentioned in this refreshing article, I’m one of those statistics who now skims past articles based on the headline. Since COVID, I refrain from any TV breaking news, mute all advertisements and deleted Facebook, because I’m really not interested in people’s personal and unprofessional opinions. The result is that I have a clear mind and only spend time on information that represents learning something that is a positive influence on my life. In the dark? Based on all the negative, fatalistic headlines and what’s coming up next, I’d say no. So after fully reading about the ethics and practices of On Top of The World news, I know positive can be more effective as its alternative. Then came page A2.

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Darryl David, St Petersburg

The past present tense

The unmaking of American history | Perspective, Sept. 4

I feel blessed to have studied history at a time before it got interwoven with politics. That was when historic facts remained that way 60 years ago when I was studying it. Now historic facts are the political football that gets tossed out to many receptive receivers. In this era of historical editing it may be that students and teachers of history may never agree on what actually took place in our history. And if we’re acting on false assumptions from the past what will that bode for our future? I would like to think that our populace is going through a temporary bad patch of political upheaval that is fogging our views and not the unraveling of historical facts.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Blinded by virtue

The unmaking of American history | Perspective, Sept. 4

Do you suppose that the pseudo-historians who dogpiled James Sweet can see that they effectively proved his thesis? Probably not. They’re too blinded by their own aura of virtue.

John S.V. Weiss, Spring Hill

The good news

The Sunday front page | Sept. 4

I loved the two feature stories on the front page of the Sunday Times (“First, the good news” and “As time goes by, so goes old Tampa”). It reminds me that there is a lot of goodness in people to be applauded. The meanness in people is emphasized so much these days making these articles a welcome change. Keep it up.

Thomas Klein, Tampa

Conservatively speaking

Perspective | Sept. 4

As a conservative, I’m compelled to compliment you for presenting non-”woke” opinion pieces. In particular, I appreciated very much the inclusion of Dominic Green’s “The unmaking of American history.” and Tyler Cowen’s “Stuff you don’t like isn’t always ‘anti-democratic.’“ Please keep up the good work. I apologize, to a point, for sneers and snarls I may have sent your way in the past.

Eric Goodwin, Wesley Chapel

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