End the division — looking for compromise from legislators

Whenever we approach another election, we often see political commentators on TV using a prop that displays the seats in the House that are controlled by each party — blue (Democrats) on one side and red (Republicans) on the other.

That one prop makes it very clear how close to an even split our country is politically divided. Yet, each party acts as though, with even the slightest majority, they have the right to run the country with no input or agreement from representatives of the other party and the almost equal amount of Americans in the other party.

When will our elected officials start working together in a truly bipartisan manner on solutions to the many problems we face? Compromise is not an ugly word.

Jim Malec, Roxborough Park

Voting takes thoughtful work

Amid this election season, we are constantly bombarded with ads mostly made up of half-truths, highly-edited sound bites and innuendo. By now, most partisan folks have already voted with their tribe, but for us who are unaffiliated and those still searching for answers about the candidates, I’d like to offer my suggestions for the election.

When the ad says someone is “radical,” “extreme,” “dangerous,” or any of the other hyperbolic scare phrases, it just means that they don’t align with the ideology of the PAC or candidate or issue group sponsoring the message. And, I dare say, regardless of who wins, our democracy will not fall apart. We may certainly be subjected to policies and laws which greatly offend our sensibilities, but over time the bad actors and ill-conceived plans will be exposed for what they are, and hopefully, better alternatives will come to the fore.

Many of the ads and campaigns are focused on just a single issue. But in our world today, many important issues need attention. So it is important that we seek to know the candidates’ positions on all, or as many as possible, of these issues. It will be hard to find good information about where they stand since the ads and websites will be little more than the platitudes they think we hope to hear. But spending the time to look for objective sources is a good preventive for the buyer’s remorse we often experience after the election.

Elections are hard work. So take the time to really think it through. And before you know it, we will only be bombarded by pharmaceutical companies and injury lawyers.

Ron Newton, Highlands Ranch

The fallout from negative campaigning

Even with Nov. 8 now so close, many electoral outcomes are still uncertain. Anyone who watches television, though, knows that we can already count on one thing: those who are elected, no matter their political party, will be extreme, radical, unfit for office, and heartless.

That is, at least, the message of those terrible, distorted campaign ads, rooted in the premise that such tactics win elections. Those who create these atrocious ads seem not to understand that the memory of their advertising persists as foul residue in the hearts of the citizenry. The producers seem not to know that their messages overpower anything we might recall about any strengths that a candidate might bring to public office. Recent Gallup polls show that Congress has only a 23% approval and a 75% disapproval rating.

The conclusion seems obvious: The public does not trust its leaders because our leaders themselves tell us that they cannot be trusted. One wonders how long our civilization can endure without confidence in those who lead us.

Is it not time for more outrage about negative campaign ads? How can we resist their messages? What are the best ways to tell our leaders that they themselves must lead the charge to stop this atrocious movement?

Peter Hulac, Denver

Compassion and common sense

Re: “We were excited to have a baby. A doctor’s visit changed everything,” and “Nazism and the rise of a dangerous far-right ideology,” Oct. 30 commentaries

My favorite part of the Sunday Denver Post has always been the Perspective Section. I enjoy reading comments, criticisms, and evaluations of issues that affect our daily lives.

I was impressed with the knowledge and research that went into the Terrance Carroll commentary (“Nazism and the rise…” ), and I was deeply moved by the warmth, love, compassion, and heartfelt humanity and common sense that was Kerry Donovan’s commentary.

On a final note, wouldn’t it be amazing and wonderful if these qualities were woven into the makeup of our state and national politicians, especially the individual representing our state’s 3rd Congressional District in Washington?

Tom Erickson, Broomfield

My heart goes out to Sen. Kerry Donovan and her husband related to their pregnancy loss. What a heart-wrenching experience they went through. I admire their courage to share their story, which helps others realize that such decisions don’t come easy. I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy, which was traumatic enough without having to consider the difficult decision to end it as unviable if given that news. “Choice” isn’t always easy — let’s keep it between a woman (or couple) and her/their doctor.

Martha King, Denver

Relying on misleading semantics and gullibility

Re: “Nazism and the rise of a dangerous far-right ideology,” Oct. 30 commentary

Terrance Carroll’s answer to those on the right who claim that Hitler’s Nazi Party was a socialist party is spot on. As Carroll points out, a cursory review of history shows that socialists, communists and Jews were the first purged from civil service jobs, then all jobs, and ultimately sent to the extermination camps by the Nazi Party.

Unfortunately, neither Colorado State Board of Education Member Steve Durham, the editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette, Krista Kafer or any of the many Republican elected officials and candidates promoting the nonsense that the Nazis were actually leftists possess even that most cursory level of historical awareness. Otherwise, they would know perfectly well that The National Socialist Workers Party under Hitler’s control was no more “socialist” than The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea, is either “democratic” or a “republic.”

Of course, it’s possible some of them, the ones driving the bus, aren’t really that ignorant but are convinced that the rest of us are. Judging from the percentage of Americans taken in by the most outlandish MAGA/Q conspiracy theories and mainstream GOP claims that all their losses are the result of massive voter fraud despite never being able to produce a scrap of credible evidence before any court at any level, relying on public ignorance and gullibility for gaining and retaining total control looks like a pretty safe bet. They certainly are dead set against teaching real history in our schools and insistent on replacing it with whitewashed “patriotic” propaganda, exactly the way it’s done in both fascist and communist totalitarian regimes for just those same purposes.

Felice Sage, Englewood  

“Knee-jerk” legislation is dangerous

Re: “Metal restraints used on inmates in crisis,” Oct. 30 news story

While some restrictions on time may be necessary, it is dangerous to all those in the corrections system to let legislators pass a law. As a former police officer who still teaches police tactics, I can tell you that the comments made by legislators show ignorance about the realities of dealing with people in “crisis.” That sounds like they are the only concern. In reality, the corrections folks have to try to protect everyone involved. If you have never had to deal with someone struggling wildly, you cannot have an appreciation for the difficulty. One example of an absurd idea is that they outlaw belly chains and plastic restraints. I suggest that those legislators be forced to deal with a person in real “crisis” before they try to make a law.

The knee-jerk police reform bill is full of vague absurdities that drove many officers out of police work. The legislature has not looked back, even though the law has forced thousands of police officers to cease doing any real law enforcement. Uninformed, well-meaning laws make it impossible to recruit people who must deal with very real violence.

Donald C. Black, Aurora

Obligated to take action on water

Re: “Water levels critically low,” Nov. 2 news story

Yikes. Thanks for raising awareness of this critical issue. We really need to move forward with long-term solutions like taxing carbon pollution. Life as we know it is at stake. Changes are required, and we as humans have an obligation to take action for our species as well as all other species on this planet.

Joel Doerer, Littleton

There are few shared hardships that create bonds of solidarity more than a lack of water. As a Californian, I am acutely aware of what I share with Coloradans and residents of all the states fed by the Colorado River.

Given the states’ failure to fashion a solution, the response must be a federal one. This is a timely reminder that only the federal government can respond to certain challenges.

Do the violent assaults directed toward Nancy Pelosi and a Democratic candidate in Pennsylvania mean the national fabric is unraveling due to the stoking of resentment to cement political supremacy?

Those hoping to preserve civil society and democracy itself are just as much up against a ticking clock as those attempting to sort out divvying up Colorado River flows. Cast your votes for legislators who could understand the Colorado River crisis and work out a solution in a civil manner. Just stoking fear or snarling “No” is not an option.

Gary M. Stewart, Laguna Beach

Support system for immigrants

Of course, immigrants should be dispersed throughout the United States!

All of the churches and other nonprofits with tax-exempt status should be taking in/supporting families according to the size of their organizations. People need jobs in safe surroundings to thrive. What better way to benefit each state, city and community than having people come who want decent wages and are willing to do difficult jobs? Through these jobs, they will benefit the community and the tax base.

Germany has taken in over 1 million refugees per year since 2018, according to microtrends.net. That country had a total population of 83 million in 2020. To match Germany, the United States, with a population of 330 million, would allow roughly four times that amount per year. That is not the case, even when documented and undocumented immigrants are combined.

It’s time for religious nonprofits to step up.

Monica O’Brien Wolfe, Lakewood

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