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The Readers' Forum: Wednesday letters

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Anti-freedom

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently said that if Republicans take charge of Congress next month, they may halt our military assistance to Ukraine while it fights against the Russian invasion.

He said that Americans are dealing with economic problems at home and can’t afford to prioritize helping Ukraine.

As if the U.S. is incapable of doing more than one thing at a time.

But pulling our assistance from Russia would be short-sighted. Even if Republicans somehow brought down inflation, doing so at the price of empowering Russia would hurt us in the future.

I realize that might not matter to Republicans, but it matters to the rest of us.

Republican candidates have indicated that if they regain power, they’ll cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. They’ll also reverse the Biden administration’s limit on the price of insulin.

They’ll also attack abortion rights, voting rights and intellectual and educational freedom. The GOP is an anti-freedom party. Of course it’s semi-fascist. That’s their platform.

Of course, it may not be up to McCarthy. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene may wind up in charge.

“I think that to be the best speaker of the House and to please the base, (McCarthy’s) going to give me a lot of power and a lot of leeway,” she told The New York Times Magazine. “And if he doesn’t, they’re going to be very unhappy about it.”

Evan Fisher

Winston-Salem

Biden’s fault

Republicans have been blaming President Biden for almost everything they feel is wrong with our country. That’s politics, but somewhat unfair, since they are often things over which Biden has little control. For instance, the higher cost of gasoline is driven by supply and demand and crude oil prices largely controlled by OPEC. The supply chain disruptions are not Biden’s fault, either. It is the pandemic and its effects on the supply of goods that has contributed to shortages and inflation of prices not just here, but worldwide (Forbes, Sept. 22).

Furthermore, some of the accusations made by Republicans are just nonsensical lies. For example, in 2021, the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A was running low on dipping sauce and limiting the number of packages they were giving out (lgbtqnation.com, May 29, 2021). MAGA conservatives were quick to point the finger at Biden. The real culprit: that broken supply chain.

Earlier the same year there also was a shortage of chicken wings, which the Trumpists claimed was Biden’s fault. The truth: cold weather had caused problems raising chicken flocks.

With the mid-term elections less than three weeks away, Republicans are looking around for anything else they can pin on the president. It shows how desperate they are to draw attention away from former President Trump and his attack on our democracy. So, I offer here a few suggestions for them: How about sunspots, static cling, peeling paint, ingrown toenails, grass stains or dust mites? I’m sure they are all Biden’s fault, too.

Fred Luce

Winston-Salem

Experienced educators

Opinions about public schools are a dime a dozen these days, but we are blessed to have two school board candidates who know our school system from the inside out. Richard Watts (at-large candidate) and Stan Elrod (District 2 candidate) have served as teachers, assistant principals and principals in Winston-Salem. They know firsthand the issues facing our students, teachers and administrators.

Watts was the principal of Kimberley Park Elementary School when my daughter attended there. He was visible on campus and knew what was happening in the classrooms. I saw him call students by name to compliment and chide, to encourage and deter. His dedication was reflected in students and teachers.

A few years later, Elrod was my daughter’s principal at Reagan High School. Reagan was a brand-new school, without a history or traditions or even a fight song. Elrod provided the expertise, leadership and tenacity to put this new school on a path to success.

These men could rest on their laurels now. Instead, both have stepped up to run for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board. I encourage you, in turn, to step up and vote for Richard Watts and Stan Elrod for school board.

Kathy Lisle

Winston-Salem

Environmental stance

As we prepare to vote, let’s not forget to consider candidates’ stances on the environment and climate. Many issues rightfully clamor for attention, but prioritizing a livable world for our children is something we should all endorse.

Sustainability, conservation and mitigation of the climate emergency are goals that federal, state and local candidates can (and should!) all address. For example: our congress people and General Assembly members can hold corporations accountable for their emissions and pollution so we don’t have to pay the price. They can advocate for funds to clean up toxic waste, such as “forever chemicals” poisoning waterways we use for drinking water and recreation.

County commissioners and City Council members can impact our air and water quality by shifting government operations toward renewable energy sources. They can support programs that divert recyclable and compostable waste from the landfill, sparing us from having to fund a new dump or pay to send our trash out-of-county as soon.

The Board of Education can support environmental curricula so our children are given the knowledge they will need as they grow up facing a world with more natural disasters and food scarcity. An education that includes the causes, effects and injustices of the climate emergency will prepare children to have agency in their own lives and make a positive difference in their world.

I encourage you to view results of a nonpartisan survey on environmental stances; please visit Piedmont Environmental Alliance’s website (peanc.org/view-peas-2022-candidate-survey). Thank you for voting!

Rosalyn Sloan

Winston-Salem

Durham’s investigation

“Russia, Russia, Russia.” For years, former President Trump claimed that the investigation into his possible involvement with Russia’s attempt to influence the 2016 election was nothing but a hoax. His supporters claimed that Special Counsel John Durham would prove it was a hoax.

But Durham’s overblown investigation is dying with a whimper after failing to prove much of anything (“Analyst acquitted in Trump dossier trial,” Oct. 19). And the facts revealed by the Mueller investigation, revealing many ties between Trump campaign officials and Russia, still stand, despite former Attorney General William Barr’s attempt to downplay them.

No one should be surprised. If Trump says it, it’s probably a lie. Hasn’t Trump’s base learned that yet?

“You can fool some of the people all of the time …”

Charlie B. Reece

Winston-Salem

Stopped short

Regarding your Oct. 16 editorial “The stakes”: I read it with hope.

As you laid out an accurate assessment of critical issues facing us going into the midterms and the sorry state of the Republican Party in thrall to Trumpism, I thought that you were about to take a stand and endorse Democrats as the best hope to protect our democracy. But you stopped short.

What a disappointment!

“Our economic situation is temporary. It will change,” you wrote. “If we lose our democracy, we may never get it back.”

But then you urged voters to “read, study, absorb, consider and pray”? Pray for what — that democracy survives?

No, I will cast my ballot for Democrats only. With the stakes so high, I cannot trust Republicans to do the right thing.

Sheilah Lombardo

Winston-Salem

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