Letters to the Editor

Letters on U.S. competitiveness, fear of change, new course, Trump

Make America competitive again

The election is over, and the real work has just begun.

In order to become great again, we must become competitive again. If we are going to be in a global economy, we must compete in a global economy. Many things are going to have to change.

As a nation, we compete with other nations that spend half what we do on health care and defense. We have regulations on clean water and air that are far stiffer than our competitors. Yes, everybody wants clean air and water, but we also need to be able to compete.

Then there is our currency. We have a currency that, when compared to other countries, makes American workers’ labor expensive. Sure, your overseas vacation is great, but try to sell an American-made product there.

We have a lot of work to do to become competitive again. But it is time we do this.

It is time that we became the productive engine of the world again. It is time to become great again.

Mike Hubbell, Kingman

Fear of change

In the 1800s, the new nation of the United States entered into the Industrial Revolution. Immigrants provided the labor for factories, mining, steel mills, railroads, etc. The cultural life of the nation was undergoing transformation.

Fundamentalism flourished out of fear; the status quo was changing. Boxes were tightly built within boundaries of the past.

Now, in the 21st century, fundamentalism is again rising – with fear of the globalization of the world’s peoples. Some of those fears generate violence and war in many nations. These fears seek to build barriers and give rise to isolationism. Nevertheless, globalization presses on, unstoppable.

Isn’t “make American great again,” as a movement, built on the ideology of fear? Isn’t the extreme right – as in the Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback – acting in fear of change?

Education has fostered the creativity of people around the world, but in Kansas, it is being rolled back and starved of funds.

It is fundamentalism at work instead of transformation into the new world order. We should be embracing all the new opportunities.

Harry Williford, Wichita

Reset compass

Well, as it turns out, in our democracy everyone gets one vote – not just the Washington, D.C., insiders, the Beltway pundits, the media bobbleheads and the Hollywood elite. We all have a voice, if we want to use it.

On Nov. 8, most of us chose to speak out, much to the surprise and chagrin of both the Republican and Democratic political establishment.

Now the ship of state has reset the compass and will soon sail in uncharted waters with destination unknown. At times it will be perilous, and at times it will be amazingly wonderful. But it will be a uniquely American experience with “we the people” at the helm. God speed America.

James Butler, Wichita

Vote got trumped

The only difference between the 2000 Geroge W. Bush-Al Gore vote and this year’s Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton election results is that in 2000 the popular vote got bushwhacked by the Electoral College, and in 2016 the popular vote got trumped by the Electoral College.

John Williamson, Wichita

Changing lives

The pundits say this election was all about change. If so, the results have already changed some lives in very palpable and disturbing ways.

The morning after the election, a Muslim student friend of mine, who was born in Norway and is a permanent resident here, called a family member to ask if he needed to be afraid because of the election results. That led to an excruciatingly difficult and emotional discussion.

The same morning, a young Hispanic woman with whom I’ve worked, who is a gentle person and also a permanent resident, asked if we were going to build a wall between her and her parents who live in Mexico. It is a bewildering question. How does a supposedly advanced, compassionate society address these heartfelt outpourings from other members of society?

Those who supported change have fears about their future and the country’s future. The policies developed to try to address those concerns must not collide with the human rights, freedoms or personal dignity of other members of our society.

I, too, fear for the future of our country. But my greatest fear is that, as this change unfolds, we will be losing some essential part of ourselves. I hope I am wrong.

William C. Skaer, Wichita

No patriotism

Donald Trump manifested utter disrespect for many people and projected an extremely bad image of himself. That said, he understood the frustration of a certain sector of the population. He promised them everything they were seeking. Whether he can deliver them or not is a different thing.

Trump energized his base so strongly that they did not care about his shortfalls and weaknesses. They heard what they wanted to hear.

African-Americans and Latinos supported Hillary Clinton but not with the same excitement and passion. She dedicated her life for public service, but what did she offer? Higher minimum wage, free college tuition and equal pay? Instead of bashing Trump so much, she should have assured voters how she would create good-paying jobs and what she would do to stop the exodus of businesses leaving the United States.

On that note, I must ask where the patriotism is of companies that leave the country to exploit cheap foreign labor. And where is our patriotism when we go for cheap made-in-China products, which encourages manufacturers to leave the United States?

Mohan Kambampati, Wichita

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