Find common ground
Dianna Cody on Aug. 28 correctly reminds us that Donald Trump is the legally elected president, but we must also remember that he is not the democratically elected president. Indeed, the majority of Americans disapprove of Trump’s actions.
Cody suggests that this majority should “move to the back of the bus.” The majority of Americans should not have to accept second-class status in their own country.
Cody tells us that “We are making changes, like it or not.” I remind her that Trump is the president, not the dictator, and this country, for the moment, continues to operate under a system of checks and balances. Trump’s squeaking by on a paper victory does not entitle him or his supporters to cram their preferences down the throats of the majority of Americans.
Our country is fatally polarized; compromise is the lifeblood of any democracy. If Americans cannot find common ground, this country will disintegrate. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Watching with dismay
Many persons in the USA, both black and white, have watched with dismay as some elements of black society have begun exhibiting deep and serious problems — family disintegration, tragic educational failure, drugs, gangs, crime, and a strain of deadly violence.
Yet some politicians and the media insist we must "look the other way" (i.e., openly courting black votes with the siren song of “victimhood”). They have been silent when groups like Black Lives Matter were received at the White House while some in this same group have called for killing police — the same police embattled black moms and dads pray can tamp down random violence in their neighborhoods.
The current deflection-du-jour is to damage or remove public monuments. A classic exercise in futility and another tragic distraction.
Is it any wonder that some fringe elements in white society will go from impotent anger to outright public manifestations like were seen recently in Charlottesville, Virginia? The frantic virtue-signaling being heaped on President Trump is doing nothing — nothing except to deepen the frustration of law-abiding blacks and whites and, just perhaps, hasten a day of reckoning.
Are debates worthwhile?
A gambit used by those with marketing skills but a shortage of supporting evidence is to see a public debate. This is because debates conducted before an uninformed audience are won by smooth talking skills and fraudulent claims that the audience doesn't discern. Thus the uninformed administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, wages a debate on climate science.
The route by which scientific consensus is reached is peer-reviewed journal publication and expert professional conference. Through these vehicles, experts in a discipline present evidence knowing the readers understand the basic science. There they discuss credible evidence and develop informed conclusions.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with a serious disease will seek second and third opinions from specialists. We don't invite physicians to public debate where the audience decides what diagnosis has been rendered, we explore the array of possible treatments and discuss those with the physician and family members to determine what is the best approach.
Creationists take the same approach as Scott Pruitt. They seek debates because they know they can wow an uninformed audience with their pseudo-scientific claims. The accuracy of climate science will never be determined though public debate.
Barbara Gurschke, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now