Letters: Don’t vote for election deniers; Sentencing a ‘failure of the judiciary’

Don’t vote for election deniers

Remember when Trump accused Obama of not being a native-born American? The “birther” conspiracy? “A BIG LIE is a gross distortion or misrepresentation of the truth primarily used as a political propaganda technique. The German expression was first used by Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf to describe how people could be induced to believe so colossal a lie because they would not believe that someone ‘could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously’” (Wikipedia, “Big Lie,” accessed March 25).

The ”Big Lie,” in contemporary usage, is the incessantly repeated claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Over 60 lawsuits ruled that this election was not stolen, yet Trump continues to claim that he believes that the election was stolen. The Big Lie evolved into a slogan that inspired the January 6 insurrectionists: “Stop the Steal,” and which is at the heart of the MAGA political faction by “election deniers.”

A March 7 report, “States of Denial: Tracking Election Deniers in Key State Legislatures,” by the United States Democracy Center (statesuniteddemocracy.org/resources/states-of-denial), identifies 86 “election deniers” in Pennsylvania government’s General Assembly. Supporting the Big Lie provides support to the Jan 6 coup conspirators, who are insurrectionists, terrorists (please look up the precise meaning of this term for yourself), and enemies of American democracy.

Please don’t vote for any “election denier” running for any office who does not accept the results of the 2020 election or who supports the MAGA political faction.

Mark Ralston, Centre Hall

Sentencing a ‘failure of the judiciary’

I am appalled by the news of the young murderer Ahmed Alqubaisi from the Emirates, justly convicted of slaughtering a Penn State graduate student who was innocently walking on a nearby sidewalk, now allowed to go free and return to his homeland. He drove his BMW with only a learner’s permit, without a licensed passenger, at a high rate of speed, and lost control, crossing Park Avenue completely before violently striking the young woman. He should have been sentenced to years in prison, but Judge Jonathan Grine and the U.S. immigration and diplomatic authorities evidently colluded to let him go immediately and leave the country, not even as persona non grata. ( In other words, he is free to return here with no future consequences.) This is an abject failure of the judiciary and government. Judge Grine and all others concerned should be ashamed of themselves. The young man and his apparently wealthy family should be humiliated and penalized to the tune of millions of dollars. Diplomats who arranged this ridiculous outcome should be fired. I am horrified.

Steven Smith, College Township

Blame for national debt

Republicans say our $32 trillion national debt is due to “reckless Democrat spending.” Untrue. The debt is primarily caused by irresponsible Republican revenue forfeiture.

At the beginning of 2001, Bush 43 inherited a balanced budget, but voluntarily forfeited some of the scheduled revenue, via tax cuts, later that year and again in 2003, creating inevitable revenue shortfalls and subsequent borrowing. In 2017 the Trump Administration worsened the situation with additional tax cuts. Very little of the accumulated debt has been caused by overspending. Exceptions are the special spending by Bush 43 (to finance the Afghanistan/Iraq Wars), and Biden (to provide COVID financial relief).

Surely Republicans knew this massive forfeiture of revenue would inevitably create massive debt, but, in fact, they falsely claimed that it would not lead to debt at all! “Tax cuts pay for themselves.” Rubbish!

Believing this to be true shows appalling ignorance. Knowing it’s not true is simply lying. Since they are not entirely stupid, the second explanation is more likely the case. Their argument is a cover story to hide the real reason for the tax cuts, namely buying campaign contributions, and votes, come the next election.

Those Republicans should not have forfeited so much of our revenue. But they did, and it’s now too late to balance the budget. Our debt will continue to grow because it’s easy to reduce taxes and nearly impossible to raise them.

The best we can do now is vote for Democrats, thereby avoiding further cases of Republican fiscal irresponsibility.

Richard London, State College

Too old to be president?

Age and competence are not mutually exclusive. Ben Franklin was instrumental in writing the Declaration of Independence at age 70 and in creating the Constitution at age 81. Colonel Sanders started KFC at age 65. John Glenn returned to space at age 77. Leonid Hurwicz was still publishing at age 90 when he received a Nobel Prize in Economics. And billionaire investor Warren Buffett is still going strong at age 93.

At a time when the U.S. may be facing the most complex set of challenges it has ever encountered, it is also embroiled in a presidential election. More than ever, America needs seasoned competent leadership. So why is the 81-year-old candidate suddenly considered “too” old while the 77-year-old is not? Because the issue of age is an intentional distraction.

What truly matters is what America needs from its next president. Someone who admires dictators, believes the President has full immunity when committing crimes, and would use the police or military to silence dissent? Or someone who can empathize with the daily struggles of the average American, who wisely surrounds himself with a team of smart seasoned advisors, and who has fought steadfastly for higher paying jobs, basic health care for everyone, and increased consumer protections?

Age is a faulty way to judge competency. The real question is, which candidate has already demonstrated the ability to provide the stable, seasoned, competent leadership America needs given the challenges that lie ahead? “Too” old? Gimme a break ...

Ron Williams, Pennsylvania Furnace