Sunday letters: Trump perspectives; magistrates in divorce cases

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Another 'perfect storm'?

On Nov. 8, 2016, an unusual set of circumstances, a “perfect storm,” brought about Donald Trump’s election to what many consider a disastrous presidency, especially for the national debt and the environment.

In 2016, Trump had no political experience, but had name recognition because of a reality TV show. His opponent, Hillary Clinton, was experienced as senator and diplomat, but she was not well-liked. Nevertheless she was expected to win by a landslide.

But two weeks before the election, FBI Director James Comey announced his office was investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server. The election was held. Trump won.

Eight years later we face another “perfect storm.” Donald Trump, 77, has told us if re-elected, he will “terminate” the Constitution and use the presidency to wreak revenge on his enemies. And, in short, create a dictatorship. But he is facing four criminal indictments and 91 felony charges. If convicted, he will likely be imprisoned.

His opponent is President Joe Biden, who many feel has done a great job, but is 81 and a whopping 86% of voters (according to a recent ABCNews/Ipsos poll) feel he is too old for another term.

Then − a la James Comey − a MAGA Republican, Special Counsel Robert Hur, investigated Biden’s retention of classified documents, found no grounds for charging him, but called him, “a well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory."  Not the best campaign slogan.

So, will voters consider Biden too old, vote for Trump and put us under a dictatorship? Or, will Trump be convicted and lose the election to a president in his 80s?

The first will end our democracy.  Even the second is not terribly appealing.

Gordon Rowley, Wakefield

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa, last month.
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa, last month.

Blaming Trump for Biden

After the report from the Department of Justice special counsel referring to President Biden as a “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory," as well as his many recent press conference gaffes, we can all agree that this certainly is a problem.

What isn’t recognized is that it is all Donald Trump's fault.  If Trump wasn’t such a lousy president, Joe Biden would not have had to work so hard and long to fix the problems. That effort put such a strain on the current president that we are now seeing the results.

There is no end to the Trump nightmare of low inflation, cheap energy, controlled immigration and no wars.

John E. Anderson, North Scituate

More magistrates not enough in divorce cases

The Journal reported that Chief Justice Michael Forte’s rationale for supporting legislation that allows Family Court magistrates to preside over contested divorce cases is, in his words: “The more judicial officers who hear these cases, the more likely the cases will be settled short of a lengthy trial" (News, Feb. 5).

Given that Family Court magistrates don’t preside over contested divorces, how does their lack of experience ensure expeditious proceedings?

The Journal also reports that this legislation was submitted “at Forte’s request.” If Mr. Forte’s position affords him the privilege to request legislation, why not also request legislation to help the people whom contested divorces hit the hardest: children.

Other U.S. states have laws mandating education modules for divorcing parents, helping them manage divorce for their children. Kentucky has passed shared parenting legislation, honoring a child’s natural right to have as equal access as possible to each of their parents.

In Rhode Island, meanwhile, divorcing parents don’t have to take a class, watch a video, or read a pamphlet about how to best manage divorce for their kids.

Lacking such laws and programs, it matters little if contested divorces here are presided over by a judge, a magistrate, Judge Judy, or Aaron Judge. The stick’s short end will go to the children, who don’t deserve it. It does not have to be that way.

If R.I. Family Court won’t lead in this area, our legislature must.

Tim Lemire, Warwick

FDR and the Ukraine crisis

For those in Congress more concerned with gaining political points than resolving issues in our nation's best interests, some food for thought:

"The people of Europe who are defending themselves do not ask us to do their fighting. They ask us for implements of war, the planes, the tanks, the guns, the freighters, which will enable them to fight for their liberty and for our security.  We must be the great arsenal of democracy."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (fireside chat - Dec. 29, 1940)

Stefano Andolfo, Warwick

Extend RIPTA's reach to rural areas

I volunteer with a nonprofit in South County. We help our neighbors in need in these times of ridiculous rent increases and inflated costs of living.

A problem we sometimes have is helping our neighbors with transportation. We have no infrastructure to accommodate these needs and there is no public transportation service in our part of the state. Some of our neighbors we help can work and want to work but have no transportation to get to a job.

I have read lately that RIPTA wants to build a new $17-million bus hub in Providence which many think is not needed. Could RIPTA better use that investment to extend service to our rural areas? The state now provides transportation for residents to and from medical appointments through MTM. Could that be expanded to provide a ride to and from work for our less fortunate neighbors?

If people can work, eventually they can get away from assistance. A win for all. Bottom line is we need better public transportation service in our rural areas.

Bill Brooks, Wakefield

Costco a no go

Once again, we read a disappointing and embarrassing article ("Developer withdraws plans for Costco in Cranston," News, Feb. 1). Can't anybody in the business and/or political world get this done?

Rhode Island is one of the very few states that does not have a Costco, so the ride to Avon or Dedham is where one finds so many Rhode Island cars.

Costco is a first-class operation with quality items in the retail market, great food, great clothing, great prices, great service, one of the premier big box operations. And Rhode Island/Cranston can't find a path to secure this contract? Shameful and embarrassing again.

James Galkin, Cranston

US role in bridge probe a good thing

Rhode Islanders who might be concerned that the Washington Bridge debacle will handled as “business as usual” from our state leadership should be encouraged that the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a demand for accountability from the office of Governor McKee.

The demand is requiring the governor's office to account for all aspects of the bridge development, maintenance and inspections dating back to 2015 when then-Governor Gina Raimondo appointed Peter Alviti as director of transportation. The demand asks for records from all contractors who have worked on the bridge over the past 10 years.

This writer is hopeful that the investigation from the highest legal department in America will relieve Rhode Islanders from having to endure another McKee press conference where Mr. Alviti stands by his side while no apology is made and no accountability is admitted.

Joe Sbardella, Warren

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Sunday letters: Trump perspectives; magistrates in divorce cases