Readers' Forum

Failure not an option for USA

There are reports out there that people are taking yard signs. It is the season of politics in our nation, and the tension is growing. It is good to have choices and firm beliefs. But at day’s end, that neighbor will still be your neighbor, and that family member will still be your family member.

In my opinion part of America’s greatness is that we can work together despite our differences.

However, today in America these differences are sharper and more heated than in most of our history. When opponents become enemies, fighting and failure are not far behind

Failure is not an option for America. A non-political, non-partisan group formed in 2016 called Braver Angels is stepping up to help America depolarize. In its campaign, With Malice Toward None, Braver Angels is reaching out to individuals, churches, schools, and civic organizations with a program that these groups can use to help their own members depolarize before and after the November election. America may fail if our neighbors with differences become enemies.

If you or your organization are interested in joining this effort, please feel free to email us at WMTN@braverangelsindiana.org or visit the With Malice Toward None website, www.braverangels.org/what-we-do/with-malice-toward-none.

— Jeff Marks, Poland

Celebrate gifts of our clergy

October is Clergy Appreciation Month. Here in the Wabash Valley, it is an opportunity to recognize the ministry of local clergy and the difference they make in our communities. During the challenge of the pandemic attacking our communities this past year, local clergy members have provided spiritual nurture and faithfully led their congregations in new ways. This month, we celebrate their important work.

We give thanks for their ministry, especially among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. On behalf of Mosaic, a ministry of the Church, we are grateful for the ways in which we serve communities together.

In a world of great need, we believe we share the Good News of God’s love and hope for all people. We’re honored to be able to partner with local faith leaders and faith communities to bring hope to a weary world.

Please join us in celebrating the gifts our spiritual leaders bring to our congregations and community.

— Brenda Tryon, Community Relations Manager

Mosaic in Terre Haute

Democrats don’t have all the answers

I know many of you don’t like Trump and I don’t always approve of everything he says. However, I don’t believe the Democrats have all the answers either. The liberal left has changed what the Democratic Party stands for. I do not want the Trump tax cuts rescinded because my taxes will increase. I do not want unemployment payout that goes beyond 100% of workers’ wages, making it pay better to stay home and not go back to work. 

I do not want government–run health care (Medicare for all) which seeks to eliminate private health insurance. Free college which won’t really be free because taxpayers will have to pay for it. I vote no to abolishing the Electoral College. Big cities would control who becomes President if popular votes win. I vote no to enact the Green New Deal which does have a huge price tag, according to American Action Forum — from $51 trillion to $93 trillion. I vote no to packing the Supreme Court with additional justices. I vote no to providing free education and health care for illegal immigrants. I vote no to open borders. 

When I look at what the Democrats have done to Trump over the last four years, the media convenient’y reporting, it is no wonder that Trump has used social media to get his messages across. COVID-19 came from China and I agree it would be nice if everyone was on the same page. All we hear is how many new positive tests, frequently the same person is counted as a new case each time they have a test done if positive. No mention of CDC age group survival rates, or increases from other deaths because people are afraid of getting treatment at this time for their illness. 

Yes, I stand with Trump — I don’t want America to change. Socialism is about government control and making you dependent on the government. Nothing is free — someone has to pay. We all need to work together to face the problems of the future.

— Nancy Jonas, Centerpoint

Health care at heart of election

I want to remind you about what health insurance used to be like. I was born not that long after the polio outbreaks of the 1950s. One of my earliest memories is getting the polio vaccine, dripped on a sugar cube. I cried because I wanted two.

My siblings, my friends, none of us had polio. But I knew people who had survived and recovered. As I was becoming an adult, some of those survivors faced new health problems. I remember a beloved college professor’s rapid decline and death from “post-polio syndrome.” Today, in the midst of a pandemic with such a bewildering array of symptoms and severity, I know it’s possible we aren’t measuring the long-term effects of this disease yet. I worry for the people in my life who have recovered, bounced back, seem whole. I worry that this disease haunts their future.

I also remember, and it wasn’t that long ago, a time when insurance companies excluded people with pre-existing conditions and placed lifetime caps on coverage. The Affordable Care Act put an end to those industry practices. What will happen if we lose the ACA and insurers label COVID a pre-existing condition?

Employers were already cutting health insurance 15 years ago. That’s why we needed the ACA to make individual plans available to more people. The ACA also required insurers to let young adult children stay on their parents’ plans for a few years while they started their careers. Today, in the midst of an economic downturn, even more people can’t depend on getting health insurance from their jobs. Millions and millions rely on the ACA to secure insurance.

The ACA also mandates coverage of preventative care. My flu shot is covered by my insurance and if you have insurance yours is probably covered too. At some point there will be a COVID vaccine. Insurance plans that have to meet ACA regulations should cover it as preventative care. If the ACA is overturned, insurers might still cover it; even an expensive vaccine is cheaper than hospitalization. But insurers could make people pay for vaccines, which have gotten much more expensive in the past 10 years.

This election is about the handling of the pandemic and its economic damage, damage made worse by this administration’s refusal to protect and promote the health of the American people. This election (and Supreme Court nomination) are also about the future of our health and our health care system. Unemployment, people changing jobs, businesses closing, a plague whose long-term consequences we don’t understand yet and rising health care costs all mean we cannot afford to go back to the health care system that was already in crisis 15 years ago. Vote as if your life depends on it. Because it does.

— Ruth Fairbanks, Terre Haute

Solutions based on best science

Chartered March 3, 1863 by Congress and President Abraham Lincoln, the National Academy of Science (later expanded to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine) is an independent, self-governed, non-profit, non-governmental organization. 

For over 150 years, it has been dedicated to providing the government and citizens of the United States with the most accurate possible information and advice entirely independent of political and corporate interests. Membership in the Academies is one of the highest honors possible in science, engineering, and medicine. 

Members are highly accomplished experts, and serve without compensation. Consequently, readers of the Tribune-Star should pay serious attention to, and be greatly concerned by, the following statement issued by the National Academies on Sept. 25, 2020, at 4:10 p.m.:

NAS and NAM Presidents Alarmed By Political Interference in Science Amid Pandemic

“As advisers to the nation on all matters of science, medicine, and public health, we are compelled to underscore the value of science-based decision-making at all levels of government. Our nation is at a critical time in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic with important decisions ahead of us, especially concerning the efficacy and safety of vaccines. Policymaking must be informed by the best available evidence without it being distorted, concealed, or otherwise deliberately miscommunicated. We find ongoing reports and incidents of the politicization of science, particularly the overriding of evidence and advice from public health officials and derision of government scientists, to be alarming. It undermines the credibility of public health agencies and the public’s confidence in them when we need it most. Ending the pandemic will require decision-making that is not only based on science but also sufficiently transparent to ensure public trust in, and adherence to, sound public-health instructions. Any efforts to discredit the best science and scientists threaten the health and welfare of us all.”

From Marcia McNut, President, National Academy of Sciences, and Victor J. Dzau, President, National Academy of Medicine.

— George Bakken, Terre Haute

Donald Trump is not pro-life

I know several conservative Christians who are appalled by President Trump, but feel they must vote for him because he says he’s pro-life. 

But would someone genuinely concerned about the sanctity of life downplay the severity of a virus he knows is deadly? Would he deliberately put his Secret Service detail at risk of exposure just so he could wave at his supporters? Would he hold rallies without wearing a mask? 

In 2009, a column in Scientific American related how global warming kills 150,000 persons each year. Would someone who cared about saving lives work to roll back the Obama administration’s efforts to fight climate change? If you feel you must vote for a lying, adulterous, self-confessed sexual predator because he’s pro-life, rest easy. He isn’t.

— Steve Hardin, Terre Haute

The Tribune-Star is committed to publishing a diversity of opinions from readers in its Readers’ Forum. We’d like to hear what you think on any issue. Email us at opinion@tribstar.com.

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