Politicians may bring about own demise
Distilled down to its source elements, democracy is about the public participating in determining the direction of the future of government on all levels to maintain and improve their lives.
The people believed that the politicians they chose by majority would do that job. Instead, through gerrymandered election districts, the politicians have ensured their incumbency for life. They then, diametrically opposed to standard business theory, took their most valuable asset, the financial life force of their community property owners, and taxed them to such a punitive level that they cannot afford to even keep their houses painted.
The gerrymandering has made most peoples’ votes meaningless. So this November, what real choice will they have? Regardless of party affiliation, the choice is stark and clear. They can vote for a politician or a non-politician.
I contend that the past and present politicians have done so much harm to peoples' lives that they will see the result of that self-serving attitude on a national level.
In the limited time left before November, they cannot reverse their misdeeds. The comfortable incumbents are probably horrified that the successful result of their efforts to make the public’s voting choices meaningless has been to see the possibility of the election of a leader who may fire them all.
Peter Van Deusen
Don’t see evidence of racism in Niskayuna
In response to the June 9 letter from Anna Mattis of Niskayuna regarding the Nisky Day “fiesta” theme, I am a white, middle-class retiree who is proud to live in the beautiful and diverse community of Niskayuna. I have neighbors who are from Turkey and China. They have become friends and, in fact, I have visited the Turkish family for a personal tour of Istanbul and may someday visit Shanghai under the same conditions.
I have four grandchildren in the Niskayuna school system. They have many classmates whose names I cannot pronounce, let alone spell. But many of these children have become friends and have shared birthdays and pool parties with my family.
If Niskayuna has a racist attitude, I don’t personally see it. I shop in the local stores, eat in the restaurants, attend school and community events, and enjoy the vast exchange of cultures I experience. The fact that I can walk to so many services and events, and the warm relationships I share with friends and neighbors, are the main reasons why I love living here.
If we as residents, and the Nisky Day Committee in particular, were insensitive to a particular group of people, then making us aware is appropriate. But to condemn a whole town of residents who just want to celebrate life is unfair.
After all, Webster’s Dictionary defines fiesta as “a holiday or festival” and we do live in the happiest community in New York state.
Both sides of political aisle have their flaws
Re Thomas Friedman’s June 10 condemnation of the present day Republican Party and especially Donald Trump: Mr. Friedman’s litany has some merit, but also some claims that are off the wall.
Your criticism of the Republican Party and most of its leaders can easily be balanced off by even worse happenings by the Democratic Party. It was Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon (two Democrats and one Republican) that pushed us into the Vietnam War. Tens of thousands of our soldiers died there. Some were my friends and many of my students still carry wounds from that war, both physical and mental. The point is, we have leaders of both parties making bad decisions.
Why not balance your attack against Trump with accusations against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party? What success did she have with health care while Bill Clinton was president? (None). What became of President Obama’s promise that “Obamacare costs would drop by $250 and if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor?” (Lie). What happened to Obama’s promise he would be the most transparent president? (Lie).
What did Hillary accomplish as U.S. senator from New York or as secretary of state under Obama? (Very little that I can recall). What about these words that came from her mouth when at the Benghazi hearing when she was questioned about the death of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans: “What difference does it make?” Now Clinton is being investigated by the FBI for using her private email server for sensitive government business.
The point I am making is that neither the Republican nor the Democratic party goes without blemish. The same for presidential candidates. Mr. Friedman, you will vote for your candidate and the rest of us for our candidate. But to attack one while remaining silent on the other goes against the grain — especially from a man of your caliber.
Trump uses insults to hide lack of facts
Now that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate for president, Trump and his followers are ramping up the lies and rhetoric. The main difference is that all Trump supporters can do is make accusations, while Hillary supporters can speak with fact.
The fact about Trump’s lies and contempt for our American values comes from the lips of Trump himself. His racist remarks about any ethnicity he chooses to make them about are nothing more than what one would expect from an illiterate buffoon.
Needless to say, they reflect the views of his followers who are also racist. Be it Muslim, Jew, Mexican, or a federal judge, Trump’s ignorance is spread evenly.
History is repeating itself, as Trump and Hitler are cut from the same cloth. Here is a man who dodged the draft because of his privileged status telling us how he would send others into war. His supporters tell us he is a businessman and business tells us he a lousy one. His middle name is “bankrupt” and he has cost thousands jobs as a result. He has hired illegal aliens and talks of deporting.
His big hammer with regard to Hillary Clinton is that she used a personal server for emails. The Justice Department stated this was a violation, but not a crime. Trump and Republicans have tried for over 25 years to pin something on Hillary and they have never found proof or made a case worthy of being taken seriously.
Benghazi is another farce, as there was nothing according to our top military that could have been done to save the unfortunate souls that lost their lives. This is in sharp contrast to what happened in Beirut, Lebanon, when Ronald Reagan was president and 76 people lost their lives in the bombing of the U.S. embassy by Islamic militants, twice. Republicans have lapses of memory when it comes to one of their own and something happens.
Trump can run but he can’t hide from his remarks or past indiscretions. Accusations are just what schoolyard jerks make about others, and those making them are known as buffoons. What Trump has done for America is to show racism is alive and well and it affects not only minorities, but also religious doctrine.
Gary Philip Guido