What systems of government allow their leaders to unilaterally impose tariffs, cancel treaties, close borders, declare wars, shut down the government, enact embargoes and personally profit mightily while in power?
The answer: true monarchies, theocracies, dictatorships — and the federal republic of the United States of America.
The most important thing I’ve learned from Donald Trump’s presidency is that the office of the president has way too much power under the U.S. Constitution, whether a Republican or Democrat is holding the office.
Our Constitution is failing us with the help of a dysfunctional Congress, a partisan Supreme Court and a highly divided citizenry.
This is the stuff that begets revolutions, and perhaps it’s time. It could be a peaceful revolutionary amending of our Constitution or, more likely, a violent changing of the guard within a country with a long history of violence and more guns than citizens.
Ted Steinmeyer Jr.
Head off terror
I searched online for a hotline number to report people who are talking about committing mass shootings, but to my dismay, I could not find one. Yes, there are hotlines to prevent suicides.
The Aug. 7 story, “Dayton shooter had shown interest in mass shooting,” says the Dayton, Ohio, shooter talked with a woman who briefly dated him earlier this year. Hearing about his “dark thoughts” that she termed “red flags” led her to call things off with him in May. “When she broke up with him, she said she reached out to his mother to express her concern, but she didn’t elaborate on what they discussed,” the story said. Therein lies the problem.
Having well-publicized hotlines, both local and national, to help avert these mass shootings would be a start. Then the proper authorities — police or particularly the FBI — would need viable staffing to get on top of these situations before a tragedy happens.
Donald V. Bates Sr.
Over the past decade, I have been a caseworker and therapist for immigrants and refugees, and I’d like to share my perspective on dealing with the trauma and barriers this community faces.
In Kansas City, Kansas, the streets have been quiet since President Donald Trump touted the start of his immigration raids. With so much on the line, many prefer to avoid the risk and remain in the shadows.
Just last month, on the other side of the state line, ICE smashed the window of Florencio Millan-Vazquez’s car without a warrant. In front of his family, he was dragged from his vehicle and was later deported.
Despite this overshadowing darkness, our communities have pushed through trauma and fear to find daily joy, thriving family and social lives and spiritual centers. Many risk their freedom to advocate for justice — for example, demanding that police cease all ICE collaborations. Some advocate and express themselves through art and music.
I encourage my fellow Kansas Citians to take advantage of their First Amendment right and join these voices. We must advocate for human rights in our community and ensure that local law enforcement officers don’t offer their resources to ICE without a federal order.
Sarah Katherine Jones
Kansas City, Kansas
I have empathy for people who are in this country through no fault of their own and could well be deported. These people should have no hard feelings toward the U.S. government and its law enforcement agencies. The United States has laws governing immigration into the country, just as Mexico has its own laws. Without borders and immigration laws, a country is not a country.
Yazmin Bruno, profiled in the Sunday front-page story, “Behind closed doors,” aspires to become an immigration attorney to provide justice for herself and her mother. Since her mother broke the law by entering the country illegally and bringing her daughter, what justice does she feel she deserves?
According to a 2017 study by the immigration-reduction 501(c)(3) nonprofit Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers $135 billion a year. Illegal immigrants do pay taxes, and that year it was estimated to be $19 billion, for a deficit of $116 billion. People in this country remit billions to Mexico, and some participate in public assistance programs.
Perhaps my empathy for immigrants here illegally is misplaced. It should be sympathy for the American taxpayers who pay billions to support people who break our laws.
John C. Lovelace
Editor’s note: A previous version of this letter incorrectly implied that all remittances to Mexico are illegal. The vast majority of these transfers are legal.