Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss rural communities, ‘elitists’ and Judy Ancel

Hidden cause

I completely agree with The Star’s June 23 editorial about rural Medicaid. (12A, “Medicaid cuts would be a devastating blow for rural areas”)

I would like to add that the reason so many people living in rural communities vote for things that go against their interest is the fragmentary nature of capitalism. By obfuscating the real conditions of rural life with things such as race issues or “the big other is out to get you” mentality, capitalism can keep them from gaining class consciousness. This is why they exist in a cycle of poverty and refuse to break their chains.

Miles Batliner

Kansas City

Critical thinking

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens’ June 20 column, written in defense of immigrants, revealed a terrible truth about Americans. (11A, “Only mass deportation can make America great again”)

Stephens writes that Americans who have been here for generations are “complacent, entitled and often shockingly ignorant on basic American law and history” and “are the stagnant pool in which our national prospects risk drowning.”

That stark observation can be explained by a 2010-2014 Census Bureau map showing that Northern states have a disproportionately higher percentage of high school graduates than Southern states. The Census report explains how “alternate facts,” “fake news” and conspiracy theories continue to trump truth.

Rather than working to provide better education for states that were falling behind, politicians have sowed division against the educated by labeling them “elitist.”

We fail as a nation when we do not produce citizens who learn to think critically — a process that begins in high school and continues throughout one’s life. Until we understand the divide between those with and those without the ability to think critically, we risk drowning our entire democracy in the bathtub.

Bernadine Kline


Syria clarity

Purportedly, the main goal of President Donald Trump’s administration is to defeat ISIS. Then why is it targeting Syrian government forces? A U.S. airstrike June 6 near al Tanf hindered President Bashar Assad’s army from cutting off ISIS supply lines, enabling ISIS advancement.

In violation of international law, the U.S set up a military base in southern Syria. This sovereign nation has never taken any action against America. The U.S. has no business aiding and abetting Syria’s enemies, either militarily or financially.

The defeat of ISIS depends on Trump’s willingness to exit Syria. Remember, the Syrian government of Assad is not our enemy and never was.

Sheila Young


It’s the message

I almost choked on my breakfast when I read a June 22 letter stating that the “big-money Republicans are always winning recently.” This statement belies the fact that Hillary Clinton spent twice as much on her campaign as Donald Trump.

The Democrats spent millions of dollars more on the Georgia election than Republicans, and the Democratic candidate in South Carolina spent more than the Republican candidate — so how can the Republicans be the big-money party?

The Democrats need to look no further than to their leaders, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Tom Perez, to see why they consistently lose.

There are also more conservatives than you think, and we are tired of big government trying to run every aspect of our lives. The Republicans have an economic message, and the Democrats want to keep everyone in poverty and make those in poverty dependent on the government.

Joanne McKenzie


Useful education

I’m a retired city bus driver, but when I worked at the GM Fairfax auto plant, professor Judy Ancel of the labor education program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City recruited auto workers, including myself, to meet some Mexican auto-workers who “stole” our jobs. (June 21, 10A, “Labor educator at UMKC is out due to budget cuts”)

We traveled to Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas. These auto workers lived in huts with dirt floors. Water was trucked in once a week, and their electricity was bootlegged from highway light posts. Food was the same price on both sides of the border, but these workers earned 50 cents per hour. This was the most unforgettable economic lesson on the North American Free Trade Agreement we could learn.

The economics department at UMKC has many teachers for management jobs, but now we have no one to educate the working class. We need an educated workforce now more than ever.

Molly Madden

Kansas City