May heaven help us. We need a democracy that works

From one crisis to another

The GOP must help the debt debacle it helped create | Editorial, September 29

Senate Republicans plan to block a bill that would fund the government, the latest mess of what passed for a functioning democracy. “Bipartisan” has become a term now rarely used in the United States. We seem to go from one political crisis to another. The answer to this problem will not fit in a television sound clip, or even in an editorial column. We must stop seeking political victories at all costs and vilifying those who disagree with us. Instead, we must work together to renew our political order. Then, sharing the common good of a functioning political system, we can return to normal democratic life of creative debate, disagreement and compromise (a concept almost forgotten).

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

The price of “freedom”

Anti-vaccines? Goodbye and good riddance | Leonard Pitts Chronicle, September 27

Our United States is suffering from a devastating pandemic, the worst in a century. One of the main reasons our “land of the free” suffers so widely are the “freedoms” some of our political leaders have implemented – foremost among them is the “freedom” to walk around. no mask and no vaccine and ‘freedom’ being held outside a hospital awaiting treatment because millions of people in the land of the free decided it was an imposition of their rights to protect others against a virulent virus and its delta variant. Women are still free to get pregnant, but Texas recently passed a law that, in fact, prohibits the termination of any pregnancy, even if it is the result of rape or incest. Not to be outdone, the Republicans in Florida are quickly preparing to adopt a similar version to protect the unborn child. The devil with the allocation of enough money for food needed to provide for needy children in Florida (over 800,000 are food insecure) or to provide medical care to our newcomers and needy families . Despite the desperate state of many families in Florida, our lawmakers will ensure that every fetus is brought into the world in a world devoid of a little legislative heart. Clearly, our land of freedom faces a host of daunting challenges and we commoners receive little valuable help from those who have been elected to move the country forward. We must unite and vote for those who violate their sworn responsibility to every American dismissed from office. Only then can our country begin to emerge from the abyss and regain our status as a country of freedom.

Peter R. Betzer, Saint PETERSBOURG

A sad song

Florida sues Biden administration | September 29

How can this be? I am in Florida and I I’m not suing the Biden administration, and I don’t want to be either. I guess if we put our heads together, many of us might think of better uses for Florida and America’s money than paying for the cruelty and political greed of Governor Ron DeSantis. Why does this silly song keep playing in my head? “I’m a bit of a bully, small and fat. Here is your money, pour it. Only the things I want really matter. Here is your future, pour it all.

Anne L. Hall, Saint PETERSBOURG

The truth

generals say they were in favor of keeping troops in Afghanistan | September 29

You cannot have two truths. President Joe Biden made it clear in an August television interview with George Stephanopoulos that none of his generals or senior advisers recommended that he maintain a small troop presence in Afghanistan. Yet this week I saw the three generals declare that they believed troops should have been left in Afghanistan to ensure stability and monitor terrorist activity. All three declined to say precisely what advice they gave President Biden. Which leaves us with the fact that either we have three senior generals who lied to the president or we have a president who lied to the American people. In either case, there can be only one truth. There should be accountability for the 13 American soldiers, women and men, who needlessly lost their lives, hundreds of Americans and special immigrant visa holders left behind, and a drone strike that killed a aid worker and seven children. Finally, General Mike Milley testified that he had not read the books that cited him about his calls to China. He is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Of all the people involved in this tragedy, shouldn’t he know how he is quoted and presented to the public, to the President and to the rest of the military?

Marc Khan, Tampa

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