Letters to the editor: Aug. 23, 2017

White House career calling?    

Readers who had any doubt about Prof. J. Martin Rochester’s scholarly views of White House policies and direction should read his current column in the Jewish Light (Aug. 16, 2017). It should qualify him to be appointed Communications Director for the Trump Administration.

Charles L. Klotzer, University City

Why are we surprised? 

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There is absolutely no reason for even the slightest shock at the President Donald Trump’s moral equivalence between those bearing the ultimate symbol of racial hate, the Nazi swastika, and the anti-Nazi protesters opposing them. This is the man we elected. Jews who deluded themselves thinking that Trump spoke for them since his son-in-law practiced Orthodox Judaism and his daughter was a convert to our faith, deliberately looked the other way, just as Republicans did when he chose men like Mike Flynn, Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller as his closest confidantes.

The man elected to the highest office in the land may not be an anti-Semite—but this hardly makes any difference. Ideology and moral principle have absolutely no bearing on his worldview. They are irrelevant to a man whose guiding light is acquiring—and now preserving—power. The country decided it could afford to turn its backs on its ideals, developed over two centuries, for a huckster without a center. As a result, we cannot profess moral indignation when he behaves exactly as advertised. 

We have chosen to ignore the risks of having a braggart without an ounce of social conscience do our bidding, in the vain hope that, Midas-like, he would turn our American Dreams into gold. Instead we have hitched ourselves to a nightmare, an empty vessel without compassion or sense of empathy for what has made us the envy of the world—our democratic ideals. True, we have not lived up to those principles, but we honestly aspired to achieving them until now. Now we have elected a man incapable of governing himself, let alone the country.

I am not shocked at his equation of protesters and Nazi sympathizers. Instead, I watch this man and cry for a country which has only just started to awaken from its slumber, suddenly discovering it has squandered its most treasured ideals of freedom and justice for all. I pray for our survival over the next four years.

Henry I. Schvey, St. Louis

Supporting global education efforts

This month, children and youth of all ages are returning to school in the United States. While for many this is the end to the fun and excitement of summer vacation, we can’t forget how lucky we are.

A shocking 263 million children and youth are out of school globally. In places like South Sudan, a young woman is more likely to die in childbirth than she is to graduate high school. Fortunately, since 2011, the U.S. government has invested in the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) with strong bipartisan support, helping drive its success. 

Now the GPE has an ambitious new plan to get over 25 million more kids in the classroom for the first time and improve the quality of education for those already receiving it. In order for this to work, however, it must be a global effort. 

U.S. support will be critical in leveraging additional funding from other countries. Representatives Lacy Clay, Ann Wagner and Blaine Leutkemeyer should sign House Resolution 466 to support the GPE and transform the lives of millions.

Yara Levin, Town and Country