Letters: Truth or Consequences in This Presidential Race, Trump’s Record Speaks for Itself, Biden’s Damning Admission, Funding Student Teacher Stipends in Pennsylvania, and More

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Truth or Consequences – Your Choice

The Game Show Truth or Consequences is familiar to most Baby Boomers. It started in 1940 on radio, and then continued on TV until 1988. The premise of the show was trying to quickly answer a bizarre question in roughly two seconds, and, if the answer was incorrect, face the consequences of having to perform a zany and embarrassing stunt. The results were amusing and entertaining.

Today, the American People are facing the 21st Century version of the game, where the Truth is expressed as a profound question, and the Consequences of answering incorrectly neither amusing nor entertaining.

In our current civic discourse Politics has taken on the aspect of a game show, performed for amusement and high ratings. A game show host (Donald Trump) now seeks higher ratings for his “show”, and his audience is only too willing and eager to be amused and entertained. Meanwhile the Country that he seeks to run and control is headed for Consequences that will remove any pretense of this being anything other than it being a game played for his personal benefit.

Trump has single handedly cheapened our politics, by pulling his converts into his orbit with golden promises which he has no intention of delivering, and dark threats which he will most definitely carry out if elected. By the time the consequences of choosing a second Trump term are fully exposed it will be too late to do anything about the damage.

The difference between the Trump show and President Biden’s concept of government is like the difference between The Bachelorette and the PBS News Hour. One is frivolous with a dark underbelly of sexism, and the other distinctly unsexy but substantive. One is for entertainment, which, sad to say, works for ratings. The other is for serious attention to the issues of the day, which takes patience and thought to appreciate, but delivers real progress.

Regardless of who is running on the Democratic ticket, the American People must choose if they only want to be entertained and controlled, or if they want a government which Truthfully works for them. 

Joe Sundeen, Lower Makefield

A President Is Not a King

Since 1215, the Magna Carta has stood for the principle that even Kings are not above the law. Now, eight centuries later, the Supreme Court has fundamentally shattered one of the foundational principles of our democratic republic by holding that the President of the United States is actually above the law.

No amount of legal sleight of hand, partisan propaganda, sophistry, or twisted logic can rationalize a decision that creates the real possibility that the next President will, with impunity, impose a dictatorship with the Supreme Court as its Pretorian Guard.

Is it guaranteed that this will happen? No, but the ruling creates a clear and present danger, especially when one considers statements made by candidate Trump, or the plans laid out in Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s policy bible for the next Republican administration.

Trump has told us who he is and what he intends to do. The Supreme Court has given him the green light to do as he pleases. It’s up to us to use the power of the ballot box to make sure he’s stopped.

I have children. I hope someday to have grandchildren. I pray that they will live in a democracy, but genuinely fear the possibility that they will not.

Dean Richard Phillips, Ambler

Trump’s Record Speaks for Itself

Trump became a one-term president, not because the election was stolen but because Americans were tired of dealing with the destructiveness, cruelty, and chaos of his historically dishonest and narcissistic administration.

Over 60 court cases, many before judges appointed by Trump or other Republican presidents, concluded that a stolen election was just one of the 30,573 documented lies told by Trump while in office.

Trump took us out of the Paris Climate Accord contributing to record-high temperatures, monster tornadoes, uncontrollable wildfires, and catastrophic flooding.

He lied about the seriousness and dangers of Covid, mocking the recommendations of dedicated health professionals, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of countless Americans.

Trump’s trashing of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, while disparaging our NATO allies, served to embolden bad actors such as Hamas and Vladimir Putin, leaving the United States involved in two wars.

A grotesquely unethical Supreme Court, stacked by Trump with ultra-conservative sycophants, believes machine guns are OK, but a woman’s ability to exercise reproductive freedom is not.

The historic bi-partisan immigration bill, which gave conservative Republicans virtually everything they ever wanted to secure our southern border, was de-railed by Trump because he didn’t want to lose a desperately needed campaign issue.

With a record like his, why on earth would any reasonable person want this twice impeached, four-time-indicted, one-term president, convicted of 34 felonies, motivated purely by self-interest, vengeance, and ego, to return to office? 

He’s already done more than enough damage to our nation, our democracy, and our world.

George Polycranos, Port Matilda

Biden’s Damning Admission

Already sinking in the polls across the political spectrum, during his recent meeting with Democratic governors President Biden excused his dismal debate performance, in part, on his travel schedule and getting too little sleep; and he didn’t want any more late evening activities. 

Other reports have surfaced suggesting the president is “dependably” engaged less than 12-hours a day.  Unfortunately, world events which can affect the security of the United States and the lives of its citizens … demanding a president’s full attention … operate on a 24-hour basis!

Bidens upcoming one-on-one interview with Geroge Stephanopoulos will not rectify the recent self-inflicted damage to his campaign and reelection hopes.  Meantime, the chorus of major donors and concerned Democrats running for the House and Senate will only grow louder unless he quickly withdraws from the race and releases his pledged convention delegates. 

The good news for Democrats; their party’s “bench” of possible candidates is deep, most without political or personal baggage potentially useful by the Trump campaign.   

However, delaying the crucial decision to step out of the race can only harm his party’s chances of defeating former president Trump and any hopes of winning one or both houses of Congress.

Dick Newbert, Langhorne

What’s the Choice?

The 90-minute debate between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump provides one indisputable takeaway.  We have a sitting president (Joe Biden) who supports and believes in the value of our democracy and we have Donald Trump who does not support and apparently does not believe in the value of our democracy.  What’s the choice?

Ross Adams, Boalsburg

Pennsylvania Needs More Robust Funding for Student Teacher Stipends

There is nothing more in the world that I want than to be a teacher.

As a secondary education English major at Bloomsburg University, I’m starting to think about my student teaching placement. Student teaching is the culminating experience for aspiring educators like me. It is essential to my future as a teacher.

So, you can imagine my excitement when Pennsylvania launched a program to provide student teachers with modest stipends. Those stipends will help students like me pay our tuition, buy food, and gas up our cars. Since we are unable to hold other jobs while we focus on our placements, this funding is essential to making the student teaching process comfortable and accommodating to every kind of student teacher.

More than 3,400 student teachers have applied for stipends, but there is only enough funding for 600. Stipends were gone within a few hours, leaving this opportunity entirely up to chance for most applicants.

$45 million is needed to provide stipends to every student teacher in Pennsylvania. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created a similar program and funded it at $50 million in the 2023-24 fiscal year. That allowed every student teacher in the state to receive a stipend. If Michigan can do it, why can’t Pennsylvania?

What’s more? This is a small portion of Pennsylvania’s overall state budget.

Pennsylvania needs more teachers. This stipend is a fantastic way to encourage more young people to pursue careers in education.

After all, educators carry younger generations into the future, helping them to grow and fostering their knowledge and unique abilities. It is my belief that we should be providing these essential resources to help our students succeed.

If we encourage aspiring teachers to pursue their dreams through this assistance, then we are one step closer to achieving this goal.

Hannah Harvey, Bloomsburg

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