Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Wednesday, Dec. 30


Charismatic appeal undermines gov’t

True national security depends on a legitimate government. A government is considered legitimate whenever its citizens accept its decisions as just and legal. Governments that are not legitimate rule by force and fear. Actions that undermine legitimacy threaten domestic peace and stability.
The Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia in 1787 and submitted the structure of government it proposed to the people for acceptance or rejection is an example of “rational-legal” legitimacy.
That is, citizens accept the laws that are passed because they are done by the rules of the game.
“Traditional” legitimacy is perhaps the most common and powerful form, when the passage of time leads us to accept what the government does because it has acted in ways that have become familiar.
“Charismatic” legitimacy is the easiest to establish but is also the most unstable.
Here the appeal of the great leader, his “charisma,” makes his government acceptable. Think, Oliver Cromwell, Hitler, Mao, or Castro.
But such leaders’ attraction rarely transfers to a successor, so legitimacy is lost.
Moreover, charismatic leaders often construct harmful myths. Belief in the legitimacy of any opposition is often denied.
George Washington giving way to John Adams and then Adams to Jefferson helped make the new Constitution legitimate by rational-legal processes.
Lincoln’s actions in 1861 preserved its growing traditional legitimacy. Recent efforts using charismatic appeal to undermine the legitimacy of a transition of power threaten the whole existence of constitutional rule.
Robert Wells

Be part of solution, not the blame game

In her Nov. 19 column, Sara Foss (“Public tired of Cuomo, COVID”) says we are tired of the way things are with our governor and the covid crisis.
I wonder who among us is not tired of the side effects of the virus on all of us. Trying to place blame on Cuomo does not help anyone or solve the crisis. He is at least trying to do something.
I have been around a while and have yet to meet anyone who has gone past finger-pointing or offered perfect solutions. I have yet to meet anyone who does not make mistakes or who can please everyone all the time.
A reminder to the finger-pointers: How many fingers point back while you point yours out? Are you part of the solution or part of the problem? Stand up and tell us all what your solution is that will please everyone. Long ago, a man told me if all I look for is fault that is all I will ever find.
The Great “I” has no solution, but I can offer help instead of blame and criticism. I can offer my deepest gratitude to those who do or try to give help in these troubled times.
God bless America.
Ray Williamson


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


I admit I find some of the news puzzling. We have political leaders jumping the line to get covid -19 vaccine. They claim it is their attempt to promote public welfare by encouraging others to get vaccinated. Since their are more people who want the medicine than there are available doses Why is this abuse of power tolerated?

Robert F. Jewell

Your right Fred. Why aren’t more democrats piping up?
Please go on.
You’ve the right…no resistance here pal!

Liberalism… I’ve repeatedly read here is considered a mental illness by conservatives…
Whats your opinion Fred?

It is not wise to disparage the ideas of others. Ideas should be evaluated by what they tell us about the world and by the by what our reactions that we have to them tell us about ourselves. In general if you chose not to learn from those about you you are cheating yourself of the benefits of being human.


I mostly agree Fred. Except for a handful of congressional leaders, the rest should get on line with the rest of us. Just thinking about Stefanik getting the vaccine makes my blood boil and all the republicans refusing to wear a mask.

Robert F. Jewell

You’ve made a great point agreeing with Fred . Ray…he’s seems to think Stephanik also stepped over the line..

What say Fred?

Robert F. Jewell

Fred I was wondering if your gonna get the vaccine when it comes in?
Do you think we should wears masks at all?

Also Fred , do you believe Cuomo is going to run again? If not what office will Trump give him?

“Lincoln’s actions in 1861 preserved its growing traditional legitimacy.”

What has been have forgotten that large number of people died because he did not accept the view that states are free to exit an organization that they had freely joined.


Wow Fred, you really know your warped history. Are you a confederate sympathizer? Do you proudly display their flag?

Do you support Trump’s attempt at sedition? If yes, you can move with many others to MAGA-stan in Florida after January 20 where Trump can be its first president.

I happen to think that killing people who to live their lives according to their own lights is a bad idea. After all you never can tell whose next on the hit list.


There appears to be marital trouble in MAGA-stan (the new name for Mar-a-Lago after Trump incorporates the resort). President Donald Trump disliked renovations made to his Mar-a-Lago resort by his wife, Melania, so much that he had them ripped out. “He was not happy with it,” a source told CNN, adding that Trump berated resort management upon his arrival last week for Christmas. At Trump’s orders, resort staff removed “white marble and an abundance of dark wood,” CNN said.

Trump was said to be “moody” during the trip, CNN reported. His 500-person New Year’s Eve party, however, is scheduled to go ahead.

President Donald Trump returned to his beachside Mar-a-Lago resort for a restful Christmas break last week, but was so displeased with redecorations overseen by his wife, Melania Trump, that he ordered them to be torn out, CNN reported.

“He was not happy with it,” a source told CNN, adding that Trump berated resort staff members upon arrival, telling them to remove “white marble and an abundance of dark wood.”

The staff quickly obliged the president’s order, CNN said.

Trump and the first lady landed in Palm Beach, Florida, last Wednesday and are expected to return to Washington in the new year.

The renovations were dreamed up and overseen by the first lady and her interior decorator, Tham Kannalikham, according to CNN.

ABC News was first to report that Mar-a-Lago was being renovated in November. In December, People magazine reported that the president’s quarters would be “expanded and spruced up” to “make it larger, more modern, and comfortable.” Trump is said to be planning to settle in Florida after his presidential term ends next month.

Robert F. Jewell

I think that the state of Florida should separate from their previous agreements with 49 other states…..just as Fred has indicated earlier. Call it…

MAGASTAN…with TRUMPOLEAN as it first president!!


Bill M: your comment about the “67% error rate on Dominion voting machines is just plain false. This report was about human error. It was isolated and explained by election officials, caused by a clerk’s failure to update media drives for certain tabulators to reflect the correct ballot count. NOT a machine problem.

And…..this wasn’t in Pennsylvania, it was in Antrim Co, Michigan! See, this is what happens when you listen to Rush, Alex Jones, Hannity, etc!

Robert F. Jewell

Thank you so much for clearing that up Cynthia.
Trumpers just plain got it;

inside out…upside down…and
round and round..🎶

Robert F. Jewell

Yes it has been well established that recipients of the tRumpsters:

Presidential Medal of Gall award like professional Women Hater and Rent an Orc broadcaster Rush Limbaugh use such corrosive language that it literally dissolves
White matter in the brain.

This feral form of thinking produces mindless MAGA heads!

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