Forum, Nov. 7: Preposterous lies being told

Published: 11/6/2019 10:00:27 PM
Preposterous lies being told

I have to hand it to Jeff Bendis for his recent Forum submission (“Elizabeth Warren often doesn’t tell the truth,” Oct. 29). It’s too bad there isn’t an office of prevaricator-in-chief — she’d win, hands down.

Unfortunately, she’s only one of many in either party who are shameless opportunists and will say anything to get elected. An old perfume commercial said, “Promise her anything, but give her Arpege.” The updated version is “Promise them anything, but give them garbage.”

Some preposterous lies are being told by contenders for their party’s nomination. In Steve Nelson’s Oct. 20 op-ed piece he encouraged his readers to vote for Bernie Sanders because “he tells the truth — the whole truth.” Actually, that’s debatable. I’d stop short of calling Sanders a liar because in order to tell a lie you have to know it’s not the truth, and Sanders really believes all he’s spouting off because he’s sadly deluded that socialism will be the salvation of this country.

I’m really glad he survived a heart attack, first because we can’t afford to lose any more members of Congress to death or ethical lapses, and second because I’ve had serious questions as to whether Sanders was ready to meet his Maker. We should be grateful for the excellent health care he received as a member of Congress, whose elite health coverage surpasses what would be offered to run-of-the-mill Americans under his universal health care program.

Most of us who have health coverage through our employers are going through the annual re-enrollment period, and employers including mine are finding it necessary to adjust coverage because of rising costs. But the free market, provided it’s allowed to be really free and not subject to government tinkering, is a better way to go. Both Sanders and Warren are being disingenuous, as was President Barack Obama, who promised that if you liked your health plan, you could keep it. It’s unfortunate that some candidates in either party who are most likely to tell the truth have been deemed “unelectable.”

WILLIAM A. WITTIK

Hartford

Obama’s message was go out and make things better

I object to Steve Nelson’s interpretation of former President Barack Obama’s recent remarks at the opening of the Obama Foundation, which is slated to be a training ground for activists, about what isn’t activism (“‘Call-out culture’ and activism: A false contrast,” Nov. 2).

I listened carefully to Obama’s talk and my read on that moment was that he was encouraging the young people who shared his stage to get off their computers and get out in the world. His message was, don’t just call out folks on your electronic device but really work on helping make things better — person by person. He followed up with stories of the kind of activism he worked on long ago as a neighborhood organizer, earning $13,000 a year and sleeping on a rolled-up futon he stored in the closet. It was more of a generational moment really, the elder preaching to the young, not a nod to the swing against political correctness.

I whole heartedly agree with Nelson when he says he’s had enough of being conciliatory toward frustrated voters who put the current administration in office. I see why Ann Coulter’s praise raised his hackles. But if we pile on to criticize a president who gave us more hope than I’ve seen in my lifetime, then all of us are getting tangled in the kind of politics that gets us nowhere.

Obama wasn’t dismissing call-out culture or other manifestations of cultural sensitivity. He was saying we are not doing enough about it.

JENNIFER BROWN

Strafford

Questions for Republicans

To the Republicans in Congress who now admit that President Donald Trump demanded a quid pro quo from the president of Ukraine but who maintain that is was not illegal and does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense, I pose these questions:

■ If you hold up congressionally authorized military aid to a country under attack by Russia pending a public announcement by that country to investigate your domestic political rival, is that not extortion?

■ If you demand that a foreign leader intervene to benefit your personal political interests in our 2020 elections in return for a highly desired personal meeting and the release of foreign military aid to that country, is that not bribery?

■ Is extortion not a crime under the U.S. Criminal Code, and is bribery not an impeachable offense under the U.S. Constitution?

Please keep at least the semblance of an open mind, and follow the facts.

PETE SWART

Lyme Center

A little ‘this’ and ‘that’

In the past month there have been at least 20 references to the Latin expression “quid pro quo” in the media. It roughly means “this for that.”

Now, according to Shakespeare, Caesar was trying to take over the Roman Empire (quo). So, Brutus and his cohorts murdered him (quid). Evidently Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son and their interests in that country. The president of Ukraine did not comply (quo). Trump then held up military aid to Ukraine (quid).

Trump said there was no quid pro quo. Who’s fooling whom?

BOB CATTABRIGA

West Lebanon




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