Opening a dialogue
Executive Editorial Page Editor Allen Johnson penned a very thoughtful column attempting to open up a dialogue between people who still support President Trump and those who voted against him (“Dear Trump voters: Help me understand why,” Nov. 16). A particular response, “Gratifying condemnation” (“Nov. 18), caught my attention in that the writer's tone was both condescending and showed an odd, almost antebellum sense of superiority to Johnson's thoughtful and nuanced plea.
In reading the response, I was reminded of my high school junior year English literature class: “Hamlet.” In a deft slight of psychological maneuvering, Prince Hamlet has a traveling theatrical company perform a play before the new king to watch his response and perhaps gain the evidence he needs to prove that King Claudius has killed his father. I'm sure everyone remembers the line: "The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king."
It appears Johnson has outed another Claudius.
I'm writing to this public forum to urge Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Thom Tillis to recognize the will of the electorate and announce their support for the transfer of power of the executive branch to commence immediately. With their silence, the men are tacitly denouncing traditions of our democracy, thereby threatening the legitimacy of elections. They're also weakening the country's ability to respond to the pandemic and national security issues because President-elect Joe Biden is being kept from valuable information.
The men also need to recognize the need for another stimulus package ahead of the vaccination program that will begin next year. Unemployment is high. Demand for goods and services is suffering. With smart fiscal policy, these two men can help, in the near term, thousands of North Carolinians.
The sad thing is no good reason exists for them not to seek ways to help their constituents. Sen. Burr is not seeking reelection in 2022. Sen. Tillis has six years to mend fences with his party were he to reach his hand across the aisle and find common ground.
The opportunity to do right is so close. Please reach out and grab it.
He's a good one
In response to Allen Johnson’s Nov. 16 column “Dear Trump voters: Help me understand why”: President Trump is a con artist and he’s a good one and has gained much support for his bombastic and insulting words and ways and has sold snake oil to many and they don’t realize it.
People like a maverick or American-rugged individual who breaks the rules and traditions of the presidency and other standards and gets away with it.
People believe in the caste system in America and vote to defend their wealth, status and traditions against any threats to it and have done so for 400 years.
People like idols, movie stars and champions and cannot see the feet of clay that many of them have and are reluctant to admit their addiction to idolatry.
People see Republican senators and other leaders endorsing and protecting Trump and they follow in their footsteps.
There is something in some of us that likes to be ruled by a king or tyrant or dictator so that we don’t have to think for ourselves.
No one knows what’s in our human hearts and we don’t always listen to the better angels on our shoulders.
While the vast majority of us have moral codes that teach us to be kind and caring and willingly help people who are victims of storms and setbacks, we often fail to apply that in the larger view of how we would like our country to be; that is, we are double-minded.
The Rev. Bill Gramley
Journal executive editorial page editor Allen Johnson abused his privilege in my opinion with an unhelpful column (“Dear Trump voters: Help me understand why,” Nov 16).
Yes, our country is divided. Imagine the Grand Canyon with half on each side. The Journal does not print enough newspaper to bridge the gap.