Letters to the editor for Sunday, December 5, 2021

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States
Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon

End toxic rhetoric, restore civil discourse

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

This was a truism when I was a kid. My parents believed it. My friends believed it, and I believed it. As long as you were not physically harmed name calling was okay. In light of the vile political rhetoric of recent years I thought about the kids who were the brunt of vicious comments about their physical stature, the clothes they wore, the language they spoke, the glasses they wore, the food they ate or their religious affiliation. Be assured, name-calling did hurt these kids. In a significant way rhetorical sticks and stones were thrown and made their mark deep inside the victims. I saw it firsthand as a middle school teacher when students were targeted by classmates for verbal abuse.

I continue to be astounded and amazed at the reckless political rhetoric labeling some Americans as communists, socialists, unpatriotic and anti-capitalist. Clearly, one only needs to follow members of Congress, media personalities and speakers at school board meetings to witness the pending death of civil discourse and the polarization of America. This reckless behavior encourages others to respond in kind. The result is more name calling, anger and foul language.

Civil discourse is a critical component of American democracy. It involves reasonable people sharing differences of opinion and arriving at policies and solutions that benefit everyone. It does not involve character assassination and demeaning comments about points of view that are different.

It's about time to stop the name-calling! It's about time to confront the outrageous rhetoric that includes death threats. It is time.

Larry Byrnes, Fort Myers

Faulty reasoning from congressman

It seems Congressman Byron Donalds has already forgotten that his party told people they couldn’t travel, go to work or get together in 2020, shutting down the economy with no plan and causing most of the supply and inflation issues that we are experiencing now.

Apparently using his reasoning, we don’t need to stop at stop signs, wear seat belts, or pay attention to government laws and regulations.

I was a college student in 1967 and was against the Vietnam War when I was drafted.

I was forced to go fight over there. When I came home and returned to work, the government mandated that more women be promoted, so women were promoted over me for the next few years. Then the government mandated that minorities be promoted, and people of color were promoted over me for the next several years.

The government was wrong about Vietnam, but it was right about about trying to level the playing field between white males and women and minorities.

Most doctors and health officials and most business owners agree with CDC guidelines.

Like having to stop at stop signs or wear a seat belt, rules are made to protect us from ourselves.

Congressman Donald lives in a fantasy world created by our last president who thinks laws don’t apply to him.

William Ochiltree, Cape Coral

Biden comment on verdict inappropriate

It seems inappropriate that the President of the United States would speak positively about a verdict from 12 jurors in Georgia and say he was angry and concerned about a verdict from 12 jurors in Wisconsin. In each case, 12 independent jurors reached a decision based on the evidence. We should all stand in support of the decision these two juries reached and not make comments like President Biden made. I find it totally inappropriate an terribly unprofessional coming from anyone, but especially from our president.

Ron Wobbeking, Naples

Respect the jury decision

In order to voice an intelligent opinion on the result of the Rittenhouse trial you would need to have watched the entirety of the trial and read the lengthy instructions to the jury. The jury sat through hours of testimony and evidence, studied their instructions, and spent hours in deliberation to reach a decision. Our high-ranking politicians should keep their opinions to themselves. Respect the jury, and don't confuse the law with the issue of gun control.

Don Cummins, Fort Myers

Hopefully times have begun to change

The verdict in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery's death is a consequence of a modern day lynching of a Black man in a deep Southern state. Unlike the olden times when all white jurors found white perpetrators not guilty, this jury of eleven white and one Black juror found all three white killers guilty of murder.

Hopefully times have begun to change for the better but all such similar trials do not end in verdicts like this.

E.R., Santhin, Naples

A grudging victory for viewpoint diversity

Congratulations for publishing Marc Thiessen's piece on the "Let's go Brandon" phenomenon. And as a lead editorial at that.

I'm sure it was done begrudgingly -- though it does earn you a check mark in the "viewpoint diversity" box -- because you stuck it in the great journalistic backwater of the Saturday opinion page. Nevertheless, those millions of us in the Brandon rooting section appreciate the selection.

J. Taylor Buckley, Sanibel

Nearly half of Floridians voted for Biden

The News-Press just debased itself by printing a full-length column celebrating what fans of the loser of the last presidential race think is cute and funny because it lets them pretend to say f-President Biden without using the f-word out loud. In Florida the presidential votes were 47.9 percent Biden to 51.2 percent Trump, so you are celebrating saying f-you to nearly half of your readers who still greatly prefer Biden over the former guy. I notice The News-Press is not printing much about all Biden has accomplished so far in his first year in office, so here's a brief reminder of just a few of his accomplishments. He restored funding to veterans programs, including programs to assist veterans’ mental health (that had been cut by Donald Trump). Joe Biden kept more than 100 pension plans solvent by signing pension relief, providing retirement benefits to millions. He released rules that protect patients from unexpected medical bills. He made rules to better provide treatment for mental illness and addiction in the U.S.

Joe Biden has been rolling back Trump's pro-polluter rules that removed protections to our drinking water and the air we breathe, while Florida government fights to continue to allow polluters to call the shots. There is much more Biden will accomplish during his administration that will be of help to all of us, if our Congress will act in a bipartisan manner and vote for things that help our citizens, instead of being afraid of punishment from their own party for doing what they believe is right. The Build Back Better Act will reduce medical insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and will stop rewarding corporations for shipping jobs overseas. We will have a better infrastructure, internet access to places that currently do not have access, like parts of Cape Coral, and programs to help people remain in their homes instead of going to nursing homes.

Linda Rodriguez, Fort Myers

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Letters to the editor for Sunday, December 5, 2021