Letter to the Editor: 

Mr. Warren Anderson’s surgeon analogy (July 31) is interesting, but irrelevant. President Donald Trump is not a surgeon. He is the leader of the United States. Describing him as not the nicest guy in the room is an understatement. The assessment that he is getting the job done in fine fashion is certainly in the eye of the beholder.

I’m a Democrat. I do not want a Republican to incorrectly tell me how I think. I am happy the economy is doing well. It continues to grow at the same rate prior to Trump taking office. What frustrates me is that same growth rate was characterized as sluggish under Barack Obama and fantastic under Trump. Most of the wealth from our recovered economy is going to the already wealthy, exacerbated by Trump’s tax law changes and we are needlessly sacrificing our environment.

No Democrat has advocated open borders. Democrats have voted for border barriers when practical and effective. The Republican platform called for a border wall covering the entirety of the southern border. It could cost as much as $70 billion, would be difficult to build in the remote areas of Texas, create land legal issues and most important, would do little for border security. Most of the areas where a wall would be effective already have barriers. Most illegal immigrants have come through established border crossings and either stayed after their visa expired or asked for asylum. Most of them are looking for a better life safe from criminal threats and better work opportunities. Those are the people we want coming to America.

Free college is not a new idea. The Morrill Act of 1862 enabled land-grant colleges to be created by states on federal lands so that higher education could become available to Americans in every social class. Eventually, states started charging tuition and the college opportunity lessened for lower-income Americans. Free college, including advanced education in the trades, will benefit the entire nation just as free high school has. More and more of today’s jobs are knowledge-based or require advanced technical skills. So a better-educated workforce will help fill many of the skills gaps that prevent America’s economy from growing faster. Black babies born out of wedlock is a symptom, not the cause of a problem. The major reason fewer blacks marry is they face more financial hardships than whites. Free college-level education will help lessen those hardships.

Venezuela is suffering, not because of socialism, but because of corruption and mismanagement. Why not look at the large number of successful examples of democratic socialism? Mentioning only the worst example does not help us come to a common understanding.

A pro-choice position does not make Democratic candidates baby killers. It is a shock tactic. It is a false label, same as death panels, used in the attempt to derail Obama’s affordable health-care plan to provide insurance to millions of uninsured Americans. Instead of demonizing people, why not do something positive like encourage increased funding for family planning services? 

No Democratic candidate is advocating free medical care. The insurance coverage proposed will come with a cost paid through premiums and taxes, just like the current Medicare system. The outcome will be affordable health care for everyone and the elimination of financial hardships and bankruptcies due to medical bills.

Democrats are not morally bankrupt. They promote the policies they believe will further the interests of Americans, just as Republicans do. If we stop the scare tactics, lies and name calling, and instead have honest dialogues with each other, we will have a better chance at coming to a common understanding.

Richard Turek

Eagle River

Orion, Ill.