Transparency for all reasonable expectation

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

On Oct. 3, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters in Scottsdale, Ariz., “The American people have the right to know if the vice president of the United States or his family profited from his position as vice president during the last administration. That’s about looking backwards and understanding what really happened.”

Seems reasonable, but Americans also have a right to know if the Trump family has profited from President Donald Trump’s position and the degree to which his finances might be entangled with foreign interests, including Russia and Saudi Arabia. Perhaps he will release his tax returns as previously promised. That seems reasonable too, and there are no barriers if he wishes to lead by example. Transparency all around would be fine with me.

Harold Adams.

Midlothian.

No way to duck

Ukraine investigation

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

An old saying goes, “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it is a duck.” Joe Biden was the point man for the White House in 2016 for Ukraine military finance and point man for economic talks with China. His son worked for an energy company in Ukraine for $50,000 a month and his company received a $1 billion deal from China. Sorry, if it looks like corruption, maybe it just is.

Bruce Miller.

Richmond.

Trump should not

run for re-election

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The whistleblower’s report on President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s efforts with Ukraine as I read it was partly to help the president obtain information about Joe Biden and his son’s dealings with Ukraine. There are some similarities to President Richard Nixon’s efforts to handle Watergate by trying to withhold tapes as well as altering information contained in many of the related documents. The cover-up turned out to be so obvious and serious that the Republican leadership told Nixon they no longer could support him and his best option was to resign rather than go through the impeachment process.

In the Ukraine case, there were clearly efforts to restrict access to records related to the Ukraine calls, including the “lockdown” of all records of the phone call, directions from the White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system. In addition, Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he would accept damaging information on his political rivals from a foreign government.

I can only think of two presidents in my lifetime who acted somewhat similarly to President Trump: Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. In Johnson’s case, he was able to strong-arm members of both parties into agreeing with what he wanted to do. He was smart enough to know, with regard to the Vietnam War and the turmoil it was causing in this country, that he should not run for re-election. In Nixon’s case, he resigned before being impeached.

I doubt that the impeachment inquiry will succeed in getting the House to vote to impeach Trump and I don’t think there would be 67 senators voting to impeach the president. Republican senators need to advise Trump that the country would be better served if he decided, as Johnson did, not to run for re-election.

Ralph R. Crosby Jr.

Richmond.

Trump should focus on matters of importance

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Does President Donald Trump spend so much time on Twitter that he forgets real stuff is happening out there, or forgets what year it is, or that he is supposed to be a person of substance? Someone on his staff should bring him up to speed on a few key points:

The 2016 election is over.

Hillary Clinton is not running in 2020.

You cannot bully Hillary Clinton into running in 2020.

Hurricane Dorian is over and did not hit Alabama, except with a Sharpie.

We have apps now that will correct speiling, punctuation? and cApitaliZation.

Guns do kill people. A rabid individual with a slingshot is not going to cause the murderous mayhem of a person with a gun.

Giving sarcastic names to policy proposals to promote your agenda is not clever — it’s childish, but not cute.

With the possible exception of one that ends in “Will you marry me?” there is no such thing as a perfect conversation. Even with proposals, probably 11 out of 10 people are thinking at the time, “Do I sound this stupid in real life?”

And finally, going from “Yes, I talked to him” to “I talked to him, so what?” to “We had a lovely conversation” will catch up with you eventually. Just saying, you might to connect the dot-dot-dot-dot-dots from one protestation to another.

Elaine Lidholm.

Richmond.

Is America facing

economic civil war?

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I am, as I hope all Americans are, very concerned with the direction and future of the United States.

When I look at the division between left and right, I wonder if there is a different set of rules for each. We have a Constitution that established some basic and universal rules, and hopefully the constitutional principles and philosophy would continue to be carried onward in future governance at all levels. But sadly, and with associated negative consequences, it has not.

As predicted by our founders should we as a people stray off the path of principled governance, the rule of law would become twisted away from the concept of principled law. As people saw the law twisted to personal advantage with little effort made to stop such deviation, they soon began to wonder, “Why not me?” As more and more people accepted such deviation, our government has gone so far off the constitutional path that it is doubtful recovery is possible.

To return America to a constitutional pathway would, without a doubt, create a civil war. This leaves America two paths, neither of which is remedial.

Remedy one, and easiest for the politicians — at least for now — is to continue on our current path as if nothing is wrong. This will delay our political leaders from being confronted by a disgruntled constituency. Unfortunately, delay will vastly increase the adverse financial consequence for the people, as taxes would greatly increase and benefits would be considerably reduced and some curtailed altogether.

Remedy two, and more difficult for the political elite, would be to slightly raise taxes and begin a reduction of government benefits, which would signal that the period of living off the government is coming to an end.

There will be those who not only will vigorously be opposed to either approach, but also will offer no solution to avoid the economic self-destruction of the United States.

William Ryan.

North Chesterfield.

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