Your soundbites in The Salt Lake Tribune caught my eye, and I would like to react.
You said we elected Joe Biden to get rid of the crazy, but not to transform the country. It’s true that I would have voted for anyone who ran against Donald Trump, including you. But, like most Americans, I want a different country than the one the Republican right has bestowed upon us.
You referred to “Biden’s inflation.” Biden has nothing to do with the current inflation, and you know that.
You yourself have said that increases in the minimum wage are inflationary, and I agree. In the same way, there are people in a position to prey on the stimulus money for the poor — landlords, grocery store chains, retailers. As a multi-millionaire yourself, you know that wealth must be protected. Should poor people have any protection of these emergency payments — perhaps services in kind?
Is there anything the government could do to keep the greedy off the backs of the needy? Or would that be socialism? If you offered any constructive input, would the president ignore you? No, I don’t think so.
You’re certainly right that Trump is crazy and, according to Sen. Mitch McConnell, a seditious liar. For four years, the pictures of kids in cages (separated from their parents, some forever), were on the news programs in every city and town in Latin America. Trump’s handling of the border crisis has done tremendous damage to our country’s influence south of the border.
The Russians and Chinese are on the ground in Venezuela and Cuba, but the prize they’re after is Mexico. You seem more interested in scoring political points than in helping. Do you have any constructive suggestions on the border crisis? Do you think the president would ignore you if you had good suggestions? Why not offer some and see?
Most Americans want the same things: mass shootings halted, our power grids protected from Putin & Company, a transition to renewable energy, affordable health care. Personally, I wish our country had a system of high-speed trains that runs on renewable energy like Spain has, a state-of-the-art health care system that costs a third of ours, like Spain has, a transition to green energy, like Spain’s, which is 30 years ahead of us. (They don’t have a paid discussion killer, aka Fox News, telling the population that renewable energy doesn’t work.)
And I, at least, want mask mandates because those who refuse to wear them have no right to put the public at risk. Where is your voice? When I was a little kid, we got the smallpox vaccine, shots for measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, all when I was about 6. Then we got the polio vaccine, and nobody resisted.
Here’s something you know: Democratic senators represent about 20 million more Americans than Republican senators do. In the Senate, the two least-populous states, Wyoming, and North Dakota, with a combined population of 1.2 million, can cancel out the votes of the two most-populous states, California, and New York, with a combined population of 60 million. That’s an advantage of 50 to 1. Wyoming and North Dakota have Republican senators, and California and New York have Democratic ones. And yet, if the Senate is tied, the vice president could break the tie, but she’s a Democrat.
So, you support the filibuster. Stop trying to mold us with patronizing sound bites and start representing us.
Whit Wirsing, Salt Lake City, is an interpreter at the University of Utah Medical Center, teaches night school in the Granite School District and is the author of “The Ultimate Spanish Phrase Finder.”