To the editor:

Donald Trump was not smart enough to ask basic questions about the pandemic (e.g., Are there other ways than lockdown? What are other countries doing? What is the impact of lockdowns on health and the economy). Belatedly, he is discovering that the advice he followed initially may have been mistaken, too late to rescue his presidency.

Democrats seem to have had the same incuriousity about U.S. pandemic measures, even strongly embracing them. They are likely to pay a heavy price if the growing scientific and popular view that the lockdown was a mistake proves correct.

Why, given Trump’s corruption, lies, racism, and obvious unfitness, did votes for him increase? Paradoxically, some key hot button issues he pressed were ones Democrats used to stand for, like keeping jobs here/opposing trade deals, detente with Russia, and avoiding military conflict. More broadly, while the wealthy have been gaining (and continued to gain disproportionately under Trump), ordinary folks have been struggling amidst seeming indifference by everyone, including Democrats, in Washington.

Wth jobs often scarce, concern about immigration is not surprising. All of us have stories about relatives who came here and found success, and it is true that immigrants, by participating in the economy, create growth. However, it is also true that immigrants need jobs to do so, and many companies find hiring them at lower wages advantageous, putting pressure on jobs and wages. A balanced approach is needed.

Democrats these days often seem as though they want voters to have a set of beliefs. In my sales days, it was always easier to make the sale if there was not a long list of things the customer had to do first to qualify.

Diversity. There are many ways to live good, honorable lives in our country. Let us respect that diversity, and be willing to engage voters in all sections of the nation, since we all have many needs in common.

The Democratic Party threw a lot of money at this election, and got very modest results. While Joe Biden may win the presidency, a Republican Senate is likely to block initiatives. The party needs new leadership to get back to its roots as a party of the people.

Frank Stoppenbach

Red Hook

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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