I recall a time when “The Greatest Generation” was asked to step up and cooperate for the greater good, and make sacrifices to repel two intractable foes during WWII. Not everyone agreed on methods at first, but when the clear and present danger confronted them, they joined ranks, accepted the required sacrifices, and together defeated foes who, left unchecked, were killing millions. We are supposed to be descended from those courageous and selfless souls, but I am sure their shame would be palpable to witness the deliberate disregard some of us are now showing for the common safety in our own emergency.
It is not your “right” to smoke in public places, or drink a beer while driving your car, or ignore speed limits, or send unvaccinated kids to public schools — because it endangers others. But you think it’s OK to spread Covid. One of St. Paul’s more astute social observers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, had witnessed similar boorish behavior in his own time and denounced it in his masterpiece, “The Great Gatsby.”
“I couldn’t forgive him … but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. They were careless people — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was … and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
President Lyndon Johnson once cautioned, “Don’t spit in the soup. We all have to eat it.” Be that responsible now. Wear a mask and stop large gatherings. Demonstrate you care for the common good.
Patrick Hill, St. Paul
With all the problems that people are having with each other in this country, this might help fix it.
Everyone must assume responsibility for their own actions, no matter what, with no excuses or justifications. We will then each be defined by our own behavior, and nothing else.
If we can do that, it will allow all of us to move forward to achieve what everyone should want, peace, harmony, and acceptance among all people.
Michael Moore, South St. Paul
My wife and I were moved when we listened to Gov. Walz appeal to all of us to pull together in the face of this frightening Covid crisis. This is a serious threat to the health of all of us, regardless of age or background. This is a time when politics and second-guessing should cease. We all need to sing the same song together. One voice, one united spirit.
Jim and Barb Mulrooney, Mendota Heights
Connect the dots
It appears the desire to forgive all college debt is back in the news. Many people who cannot connect the dots feel this action is the only right thing to do.
We all understand the importance of education. People have dealt with its cost for years. The high cost of education is for another conversation. This conversation, being about debt forgiveness, needs to express what true fairness would look like.
If the people today get their college debt forgiven, then we need to give every living person who paid for their college a refund.
It would also mean that all future college students would have free tuition. Wait, why would we single out the college curriculum? We would have to include trade school attendance and all other forms of advanced learning costs.
For the people behind this idea, and other goodies like reparations paid for by people who never owned slaves, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Given time, many more things would be listed in this “free” category.
You see this is how (what some people refer to as) the “new world order” would get its start. In no time at all we would exist as though the way our country was formed never happened. Most of our freedoms would vanish.
I know these people on the far left believe in their way to help the little guy. They haven’t connected the dots to see what happens to the vast majority of our population.
We must always take ample care of those who simply can’t take care of themselves. Those who can take care but won’t … not so much. I believe we are one of the most charitable nations on earth. Let’s leave it alone.
Phil Hove, Cottage Grove
Hope for 2024
Biden’s 6-million-vote margin over Trump had to include many, many Republican voters. I’d like to say thank you to those Republicans. Especially in Minnesota, Arne Carlson, Dave Durenburger and Tom Horner.
A friend of mine who has been a lifetime Republican voted for Biden because he believed the country couldn’t stand another four years of Trump.
It’s my hope that in 2024 the Republicans will nominate a mainstream Republican like John McCain or Mitt Romney.
Lyle Nelson, St. Paul
The death of John King
When last I saw Mr. King, it brought back the memory of learning how to run. Mr. King would find your confidence by knowing where to look in your self-doubts. He was the best coach I ever had.
He worked us hard and we called him blinky behind his back. At the time, I didn’t know what a good coach was. It wasn’t until I compared my college coaches to Mr. King that I realized what a “great” coach was.
As a coach, I modeled who you were.
Goodbye, Mr. King.
Daryl V. Anderson, St. Paul, North St. Paul Polars class of 1967
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