The first presidential debate was embarrassing (“Total chaos,” Star- Advertiser, Sept. 30). There should be fact checking. Debates should not be moderated by news anchors but instead by scholars, judges or others who would not benefit from a media spectacle. The microphone should be cut when it is not the candidate’s turn. The media, while not “fake news,” should stop treating politics and elections as a spectator sport.
That said, we as citizens should stop arguing the false-equivalence fallacy that seems to pervade conversations about politics. Do not default to “both sides are bad.” Both candidates did not contribute equally to the erosion of the debate decorum and the integrity of our democracy.
As someone in mental health, I feel we should think about what the current state of politics, heavily cultivated by the president and the sensational and confrontational nature of media punditry, does to our national psyche.
Trump got what he wanted from debate
President Donald Trump got exactly what he wanted in the first presidential debate: what he always wants, what he always creates. Total chaos.
Americans must learn about our racial history
President Donald Trump and his administration are trying to end racial insensitivity training, insisting there is no systemic racism in a country that was built on slavery.
Many American citizens have protested to let us know that, yes, they experience racism on a regular basis, and that some words and ideas that were popular in the past, all along have been offensive.
Most of us are not aware of how much Black Americans have been ignored and suppressed, even to this day.
Now is a good time to educate ourselves about some realities that can be painful and maybe uncomfortable to hear. “The 1619 Project,” published by The New York Times and free online, provides seemingly thoughtful and informed writings about Black history, beginning with the first slaves in America more than 400 years ago.
As a bonus for teachers, it comes with ideas to use with students. Better understanding American history can help us guide choices for our future.
For sports to resume, safety must come first
As an athlete, I certainly support having sports proceed with caution through COVID-19, but when people don’t follow simple rules, they ruin the fun and opportunities for others.
Prior to the most recent shutdown, practices and games were allowed. I even played basketball for my club team. It was encouraging to see people wearing masks, social distancing, and gym staff taking our temperatures before we worked out.
As time went on and practices and games became more frequent, masks started to disappear, 6 feet apart became 2 feet, and staff members with thermometers at gyms were gone. Things were back to normal despite the virus getting worse.
Although we are in a shutdown right now, sports will resume eventually. I ask everyone to be mindful and follow the rules. The last thing we want is another spike in cases, so the least you can do is wear a mask, and social distance to keep both you and others safe.
Enforce current rules before adding more
Recently while walking along the beach in Waikiki I stopped and sat down to rest. A minute or two later I was approached by a police officer who told me that he would have to cite me for loitering on the beach.
While we talked, fast-moving motorized devices flew by on the sidewalk (illegal). Then on the nearby road, cars and mopeds drove by with ear-shattering noise (illegal). Dogs were running everywhere on the beach (illegal). And the officer wanted to cite me, an old man, for sitting on the beach.
It seemed to me the city had got its priorities all wrong. Please enforce existing laws before adding new ones.
We know more now about fighting virus
In March, our mayor issued a “Stay At Home/Work From Home” emergency order out of concern for the coronavirus. With few cases then, a quarantine, masks and social distancing, it helped bring the caseload down. When restrictions were lifted, cases increased.
We’ve now learned more about how the coronavirus spreads and ways to try to stop it. Stay-at-home and business restrictions aren’t good for extended periods, and the rule for only one person in a space at parks and beaches is wrong for several reasons.
Community testing is critical, but needs to have fast, reliable results. Extensive contact tracing for all cases is even more critical. A quarantine is still needed. Vaccines are being created, but won’t be here soon enough to rescue the economy. Businesses and schools need to plan.
For the economy, “bubble” resort hotels could help. Continue to use other hotels for quarantine and self-isolation needs.
Rural communities need protection, too
Here’s hoping that our county and state officials remember the needs of our rural communities as they make COVID-19-related decisions.
Places like Molokai and Lanai don’t have the necessary medical and social resources to manage an outbreak, so we must rely heavily on prevention as our best defense.
Changes to travel among the islands may boost our economy, but wreak havoc among our families and friends if the new safety measures aren’t well-monitored everywhere, including in our rural communities.
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