Our country has a polarization problem. One root cause is that people adhere to the practice of labeling someone, and then love or hate that label.
The founder of Proud Boys Hawaii, a far-right extremist group, ran for the state House District 22 seat in 2020, and received nearly 30% of the vote. Did those in Waikiki and Ala Moana who voted for him do so because they believed in his extremist views, or simply because he was labeled a Republican?
There are two pathways toward change: the Path of Dignity or the Path of Tragedy. If we are to create a new world in which the dignity of each person is continuously respected, then the practice of labeling one another must be replaced with understanding one other. That concept requires a comprehensive gathering of information, interpretation, discernment, assessment, inference, appreciation and valuation.
GOP leaders must say election was fair, clean
After all the rhetoric on both sides, it is obvious that there is only one statement that will truly heal our country. It will have to be a leading Republican representative who is part of the “sedition squad”— U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, for example — to say that the election was fair, impartial and without fraud.
Until then, our country will continually be divided because millions of people believed President Donald Trump’s rhetoric that the election was stolen, rigged, or was wrought with fraud.
Big difference between BLM, Trump protests
I see on TV and read on the internet how some Donald Trump supporters are comparing the Black Lives Matter demonstrations to what happened at the nation’s Capitol.
One shouldn’t compare the burning and looting that expressed the pent-up rage against decades of everyday discrimination and injustices against generations of Blacks, to the attack on and attempted intimidation of the people who craft our “government of laws, and not of men.”
Hopefully, there are more Republicans who care about this distinction than those who don’t.
Trump could have won with COVID response
Ten months ago, when we became aware of the onslaught of COVID-19, I became convinced of and told everyone I knew that this epidemic provided President Donald Trump with a simple and certain opportunity for a guaranteed landslide reelection victory in November.
All he had to do were two things: First, make a dramatic inspirational speech to the country as President Franklin D. Roosevelt did after Pearl Harbor and Prime Minister Winston Churchill did when Britain was threatened by the blitz. He would emphasize our strength and resilience and our pride in overcoming extreme hardship.
Second, and even more important, he would, in his television speech, put on a mask and ask everyone to wear a mask and, in his inimitable way, make it the “cool” or “in” thing to do.
Virtually every American would have emulated him and taken pride in wearing a mask. We would have been a world leader in fighting the virus instead of having the worst record, and would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Instead he ridiculed the mask and guaranteed his election defeat by our horrible COVID-19 response.
Rusl T. Bjork
Masks a problem for those with medical issue
Last spring, when we all had just begun to become aware of the scope and dangers of COVID-19, we were encouraged to wear masks, although it was not yet mandated. At that time, there were statements regarding exemptions for individuals with respiratory or breathing problems.
Subsequently, the danger became more obvious, and now it is: “No Mask, No Entry.” All of this is very understandable. However those of us with respiratory conditions are still around, and find that some people allow no flexibility in this rule.
In my case, I have limited lung capacity, and simply cannot take more than a couple of steps with my nose completely covered. I always wear a mask in public, and also a shield when indoors in public places.
However, in order to be able to function, my nose covering slips down just enough to allow air in. This causes frequent looks from strangers, periodic reminders, and occasional outright admonitions.
I would just ask people to consider that there may be extenuating circumstances when they see a mask that is less than perfectly aligned — especially if the wearer is a senior citizen.
COVID-19 test should precede vaccination
We know vaccines are being rushed out as fast as possible as they are scarce and production has been slower than expected. We also know people with active cases of COVID-19 shouldn’t get the vaccine immediately.
As the vaccine rollout is rushed, we may have a sizable percentage of people who are asymptomatic and positive receiving the vaccine.
No one has been asking anyone to get tested and to show that they are COVID-19 negative in order to get the vaccine.
This will have people thinking they’re good to go when they are positive and asymptomatic, which means they will get more casual socially and with their masks.
This is also a waste of each vaccine dose. Everyone should get tested prior to any vaccinations.
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