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10-1 Letters to the Tribune

By Staff | Sep 30, 2016

Trump not fit for presidency

I attended my first political convention in 1954 and served in public office from 1961 to 2000. I’ve seen a lot of interesting things happen in government and politics over all these years – some good and some bad. What I see now, however, is something entirely beyond my experience and it deeply disturbs me.

When Donald Trump began his campaign for president I laughed it off, as most people did. But the other Republican hopefuls floundered, and left Trump to carry the mantle for the party. During that process, and in the months since, Trump has left no doubt that he is not only entirely unfit for office, but an actual threat to the well-being of the United States.

He makes outrageous comments so frequently it’s hard to narrow down which to highlight. In fact, Politifact tells us that for every five statements Trump makes, four of them are lies.

His birther disgrace is one of the most recent. But in general, his comments regarding minorities are reminiscent of things said some 80-90 years ago in Europe when a couple of egomaniacal leaders in Italy and Germany were essentially elected by popular vote and proceeded to take the world to a very dark place. He has breathed new life into the Ku Klux Klan and other American white power organizations and his son commonly pushes white supremacist themes in his comments.

But he’s not just a racist and a bigot. His disrespect for women is alarming. He belittles veterans like Senator John McCain, trivializes the Purple Heart, and has disparaged a family that lost a son defending this country. He has said repeatedly why, if we have nuclear weapons, can’t we use them. He claims he would have young men and women in our military torture prisoners and kill the relatives of suspected terrorists – both of which are war crimes.

His relationship with Russia and his dismissive view of the NATO alliance has left our allies around the globe seriously worried about a Trump presidency. Trump’s business finances also highlight questionable ties to Russia. After U.S. banks quit lending to Trump some years ago, his son announced that they were receiving significant funding from Russia’s wealthy class. This is one possible reason why Trump absolutely refuses to release his tax returns – making him the only major party candidate for president who has refused to release his returns since the 1970s.

These issues would immediately disqualify almost any presidential candidate in U.S. history, and I’m only scratching the surface of the problems with Trump.

In short, Trump is a narcissist, a likely sociopath, devoid of character, and without any moral compass. Yet this late in the campaign, after we know all these things about Donald J. Trump, he might still receive enough votes to become President of the United States of America.

I’m glad to see so many national Republican figures have realized it is more important to put their country ahead of their political party and come out in support of Secretary Clinton. I still hold out hope that North Dakota Republican leaders who “support Trump but don’t endorse him” come out and do the right thing as well. Our future may depend on it.

Bruce Hagen,


Measure 4 tax won’t help N.D. families

As North Dakotans we have a big responsibility when we vote this fall. Measure 4 could possibly increase taxes on a small percentage of North Dakotans by 400% – which, according to the North Dakota Tax Commissioner, would be about $70 million a year. Do we really need this tax? If you haven’t read the nine pages of confusing, flawed language in this measure, I challenge you to do so. There are only four sentences that vaguely describe what the money might be spent on and that worries me.

If we’re going to levy $70 million of new taxes on a small percentage of North Dakotans, I believe it should be spent on other important issues like roads, schools and fighting crime. I believe the money would be better spent on these other serious problems facing North Dakota families today. I don’t see that as the outcome of Measure 4.

I worry about the basic needs of our state’s citizens. And I know I’m not alone in this conversation. I don’t have the confidence I need in the direction of Measure 4 so I will be voting No this fall. I hope you will join me whether you vote by absentee ballot or at the polls November 8th. Thank you.

Tony Bernhardt


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