Letters to the Editor

Why must we assume the worst of President Trump?

What happened to benefit of the doubt?

In this upset over the president’s call to the Gold-Star mother, not once have I heard mentioned the civil concept of giving the benefit of the doubt. If doubt exists as to the tone and intent of the president’s words, wouldn’t we start by giving him the benefit of the doubt? If we don’t, it’s all politics!

Gary Ellison, Davidson

Nothing in Trump’s world is sacred

Regarding the fallout from Donald Trump’s condolence call to the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson, John Kelly is quoted as saying “And I thought at least that was sacred.”

Mr. Kelly, the culture and values of an organization start at the top. It appears that under Mr. Trump’s “leadership,” nothing is sacred, including respect, honor, truth, integrity and competence. Perhaps someone in a position of leadership should have the guts to address the real root of our disturbingly decreasing standard of values.

Rich LaBar, Clover

Monuments are no different than books

In response to “When making people uncomfortable is the point” (Oct. 22 Viewpoint):

Leonard Pitts Jr. states that the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” is being pulled from the Biloxi, Mississippi eighth grade school curriculum because it makes some people uncomfortable. He asks, “Where did you get the idea that you should be sheltered from history?”

I would ask, isn’t this exactly the reason that the display of the Confederate monuments should continue? Mr. Pitts describes us best as “a nation where the ability to think deeply and critically on difficult subjects has been mollycoddled into near oblivion.” The removal of history does not change history, it simply makes people more comfortable, and less likely to think about, and learn from, our past.

Andrew Bennett, Charlotte

What a touching tribute to a friend

In response to “How to get lost, and found, in Namibia” (Oct. 22):

Rarely have I read a more poignant and heartfelt tribute to a beloved colleague and friend than the uplifting remembrance to Max Diaz by his friend Wade Carpenter. Nature indeed has the power to ease our pain in loss, as I believe it is next door to God. To me, it is my religion.

Gerringer D. Clapp,


Don’t cut federal employee benefits

As a member of the federal community who served our country for 30 years, I am deeply concerned that my hard-earned benefits will be cut to offset proposed tax policy changes. I ask my representative Ted Budd and Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr to oppose such cuts to the federal community. I based my career and retirement planning on long-standing, promised benefit calculations. Any cut to what I earned breaks that promise and denigrates the value of public service.

Congress is currently debating reforms to our tax code. Paying for touted middle-class tax relief on the backs of middle-class federal employees and retirees is wrong. My retirement and health benefits were earned through years of hard work – they are not gifts to rescind.

David Phillips, Salisbury

Don’t abandon your critical thinking

I’m concerned some use the military aura to squash factual discourse and critical thinking. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did that when she invoked Chief of Staff John Kelly’s 4-Star brand to advance shameful White House politics. Kelly, himself a Gold Star father, sullied his reputation by joining Trump’s falsehood fray and inaccurately attacking Rep. Frederica Wilson as an “empty barrel” at an FBI Building dedication, which video disproves. “The empty vessel makes the greatest sound,” wrote Shakespeare. And that describes the Trump administration perfectly.

Chip Potts, Mooresville

We needed this feel-good story

In response to “‘It was like we had never been apart’” (Oct. 20):

How uplifting to read the wonderful love story of Omega Brown and William Bell on the front page of The Charlotte Observer! With our city, state, country, and world in much turmoil, it is refreshing to know that love still conquers all. May the true love of William and Omega help us all remember that hope springs eternal.

Sheila Snipes Smith,