Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss saying ‘sorry,’ independent candidates and semi-truck tech

I’m not forgetting

I have emailed Kansas Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts and Rep. Kevin Yoder every Monday morning for the last six weeks or so asking the same question: What have you personally done this past week to assure the 500-plus children still separated from their parents at the border will be reunited with their families?

As of this date, I have not had a response. Their newsletters have not mentioned the children either.

I will continue to contact my representatives. These children, through no fault of their own, have been made orphans. And I, for one, will not let our elected officials forget one of the lowest acts in our history.

Boots Linden

De Soto

A sincere ‘sorry’

Children who have been humiliated in front of their peers carry deep psychological scars throughout their lives. A simple apology could go a long way to healing them.

Why is it so difficult for people to simply say, “I’m sorry I behaved in such a way. Even though it was acceptable at the time, I knew in my heart that it was wrong and have tried to be a better person.” — and mean it?

This should also suffice for the #MeToo movement. As long as no laws were broken, people don’t need to have their and their families’ lives ruined for something in the past they deeply regret.

Perhaps we should all remember the physicians’ tenet when beginning the healing process: “First, do no harm.”

Pam Bennett


No parties, please

When you ask people what’s wrong with American politics, the answer is generally “President Donald Trump” or “liberals,” obviously depending on whom you ask. In reality, that is precisely what is wrong with American politics: growing tribalism and extremism on each side of the spectrum, of which Trump is only a symptom.

Some people are aware of this and suggest bipartisanship as a solution. Bipartisanship, however, is a pipe dream, because both parties have such strong incentives to gratify the furthest edges of their voter bases.

Voting independent is an actual solution. In a Senate with no majority, a few non-caucusing centrist independents would force each party to cater to the middle to compete for support to pass legislation, thus moderating our politics.

We all know that independent politicians are better for voter representation. That’s why, if you pay attention to Democratic and Republican ads, you will hear each party tout its candidates as “independent-minded.”

Just remember that Democrats and Republicans are not representatives of Missouri. They’re representatives of their parties.

Philip Brain

Kansas City

Not a politician

Many people criticize President Donald Trump for not “acting more presidential.” What they mean is that he is not acting like the Hollywood version of our chief of state, as most previous presidents have done most of the time.

What no one seems to realize is that most previous presidents have been professional politicians with years of experience campaigning and serving in local, state and national government. Our founding fathers did not anticipate that “politician” would become a lifelong profession, as with the Clintons, who have been constantly campaigning or serving ever since Bill was governor of Arkansas (or before).

Trump is the unpolished, inexperienced political tyro that our Constitution expected might be president — thus the checks and balances of the three equal branches of our federal government.

If he had learned from experience, he would be just another president from central casting conveying the expected profile as our head of state.

And that would have deprived most contemporary comedians, columnists, editorial writers and Democratic politicians of their myopic focus.

Harvey A. Jetmore Jr.


Demand safety

The Star’s Sept. 9 story, “Lethal inaction,” (1A) and Sept. 11 editorial, “Why won’t the government make a simple fix for semi-truck safety?” (7A) identified an inconvenient truth: When it comes to technology on our roadways, we encourage driver distraction with Wi-Fi and automatic device pairing but do not require vehicles to be equipped with available technology to prevent fatal crashes.

Reversing the uptick in truck-related deaths will require three things: doubling down on known countermeasures such as enforcing speed limits, accelerating life-saving technology like automatic emergency braking and creating a strong road-safety culture where we demand and expect 100 percent safety, as with aviation or the pipelines that run underneath our homes.

In my decade at the National Transportation Safety Board, we saw crash after crash that could have been prevented by collision-mitigation technologies. Regulations are optimal because they establish a common standard. However, technological advancements outpace the speed of regulations, which — as The Star correctly notes — move slowly and often come too late.

In 2016, 22 automakers voluntarily committed to make automatic emergency braking standard in all passenger vehicles by 2022. Commercial vehicle manufacturers should follow suit.

Manufacturers have an opportunity to lead safety on the “road to zero,” and they should take it.

Deborah A.P.


President and CEO

National Safety Council

Itasca, Ill.