From early New England colonies’ town hall meetings, where most citizens attended to decide what was best for their community, now we locals know what is best for our locality.
If our City Council votes support for sanctuary, a Texas Legislature that votes otherwise for our city is just wrong. If a community through its City Council votes to ban plastic bags, that ordinance counts for more than any state-level action, because a City Council knows what that city wants, but the state cannot.
Attorney General Ken Paxton and state government have been captured by an anti-woman, anti-abortion, anti-care-for-the-earth religion. The closer-to-home lawmaking best reflects the will of the people, while the more distant legislating least reflects the will of a local community. The Texas Legislature must stop trying to tell communities what they want.
JOHN F. YEAMAN, AUSTIN
Re: July 5 letter to the editor, “We have the right to reject abusers, racists.”
It is certainly the right of any individual to reject the thoughts and beliefs of those with whom he or she disagrees with, just as it is to reject the person as a whole from one’s personal sphere.
Rejecting an entire group — or groups — of people from the public domain by ostracizing them in those places is no one’s right, whether their beliefs are anathema or not. Practicing and promoting exclusion will not change people’s thinking, no matter on what side of the fence they sit. Listening with curiosity to their thinking is the better course to that end. We will never heal this rift by mimicking one another’s separatist, judgmental behaviors.
We do not have to associate on a personal level with those whose beliefs are reprehensible to us, and we do not have to exhibit reprehensible behavior to prove to them that we disagree. Being intolerant of intolerance produces a predictable outcome.
CAROLINE CHASE, AUSTIN
Presidents normally get to ride their predecessor’s momentum, good or bad, for their first year in office. After that, their new policies will determine at least the next three or four years.
Trumponomics are starting to take effect. In 2017 the U.S. national debt exceeded our gross domestic product for the first time since World War II, according to the Pew Research Center. Eight years of slow-but-steady recovery yielded record corporate profits with full employment. America was doing great economically — until Trump moved into the White House.
Trump’s latest brainstorm is a trade war, again against the advice of his staff, advisors and basically everyone with the guts to disagree with him. His attacks on our closest trading partners hurt U.S. companies and consumers. Our self-described economic genius has recorded six bankruptcies. His lenders, suppliers and employees all lost out; American taxpayers, consumers and U.S. manufacturers will be his next victims.
RALPH LAKE, AUSTIN
Justice nominees must declare their relationship with the staunch Federalist Society.
The group promotes the separation of powers emphasizing an independent judiciary. This is contrary to the goals of our Constitution, which states, “We the People … must promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
Justice nominees must be unbiased and care about the welfare of present and future generations. Confirming biased, Republican judges makes the U.S. a one-party state.
Regarding abortions, justice nominees must acknowledge that 19th-century laws prohibiting them were wrong. Indeed, the billions of illegal abortions women endured in recent decades were necessary to avert devastating overpopulation, chaotic conditions and violence. Abortion restrictions are based on extremist religious doctrines, like laws in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and thus illegal in our secular country. In addition, government interference with abortions constitutes illegally practicing medicine, an exclusive duty and right of licensed medical professionals.
HEINZ AESCHBACH, PRESIDENT OF HUMANE CIVILIZATION WORLDWIDE, AUSTIN
Re: July 8 letter to the editor, “Migrant advocates: Put up or shut up.”
The letter offers a solution to another issue that seems to stir equal passions among the population: abortion.
To repurpose the writer’s statements, opponents of abortion — including politicians — should volunteer to raise unwanted babies, providing their shelter, food, clothing, medical care, education and any additional expenses and needs required until the child reaches adulthood. Anyone unwilling to do this has no right to protest or to restrict the choice of a woman who makes the difficult decision to have an abortion.
DEBRA BERLINER, AUSTIN
On the July Fourth, we watched as talented singers sang their hearts out with such beloved classics as Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” and many others imploring someone named God to bless us, protect us and watch over us.
I also watched something recently that made my jaw drop. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a well-known liberal from California, criticized potential Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett for being far too religious. What? Berlin’s lyrics of a century ago — they’ve become sort of a catchy national jingle, right? Liberals can sing along to them, too, because their meaning have become empty and vague — just as we, their countrymen, have become.
GIL ROEBUCK, AUSTIN
A letter to the editor published July 11, “Fight to keep the U.S. a beacon to the world” should have said the Trump administration prefers moving the spotlight off its immigration policies.