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Letters: Time to reconnect with humanity, each other; GOP failure to react means we’ll pay for COVID-19 for decades | READER COMMENTARY

Time to reconnect with humanity, each other

A Democrat, a liberal Democrat at that, living in Carroll County for 41 years with my wife and raising a family among many conservatives in business, among friends and neighbors and in church, when I do attend, I am sometimes accused by a few of my friends who are Democrats that I am more like an independent — my God, what blasphemy! — because I associate with, listen to and actually have real conversations, friendly conversations, sometimes friendlier conversations with Republicans than I sometimes have with my fellow Democrats.

So be it. But the point is clear to me that we all need to return to the days of Tip O’Neal and Ronald Reagan who argued like hell across the proverbial backyard fence, fighting for the same end, to establish just policies for “the people of America” each felt would continue to brighten the beacon and keep America the shining city on the hill — ”a city all peoples of our planet, not necessarily their leaders ... look up to as the leading model of Democracy, a nation of the people, by the people and for the people.”

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And then at the end of a bitter adversarial day, after fighting to defeat the other’s Goliath, roly poly Tip and redhead, index card reading old guy Ronny, as the story has been told, would leave their day job behind and, like two long-parted, back-slapping friends that had not seen each other in a long time, they looked forward to hearing sports news, news of each other’s lives, families, successes and troubles that all of we humans, if we are honest about it, encounter just by being lucky enough to be alive through another day.

Look, I don’t know about anybody else, but I stopped counting after 12 deaths in the past month of friends and people I knew and admired.

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So let us begin again. Let us cut through whatever is keeping us from touching the humanity not only in the proverbial other, but reconnecting with the humanity within ourselves. Let’s open our eyes and hearts and feel the light of the spirit within each of us.

Go ahead, right now, right here. Let’s all of us take a deep breath and breathe free again. Let’s reach deep into our own goodness, love and honor. Let’s look into the eyes of those we have otherwise passed by, turned our heads away from, refusing to acknowledge their existence. That’s it! Yup, take a deep breath, come together and begin. Again.

It’s what we Americans are best at., starting over each new day as we open our eyes and see the miracles that abound in the United States of America.

John D. Witiak

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Union Bridge

GOP failure to react means we’ll pay for COVID-19 for decades

COVID-19 turned our lives upside down and political behavior on its head. In 2005, President Bush fought to keep Theresa Schiavo, who was in a vegetative state for 15 years, alive. There were protests and arrests at the pro-life Schiavo demonstrations. And 16 years later the same political party mocks 410,000 dead Americans and calls it conspiracy. Their rationale? “They’re over 70, and 99% survival rate.” Wow, what a change!

Recommendations to fight COVID-19 include mask wearing and social distancing. Pretty inexpensive and simple practices, however, the party that fights these measures call themselves fiscal conservatives. Why are these practices recommended? To keep the public healthy and prevent unnecessary medical bills. Fiscal conservatives fight the $14 mask and refuse to social distance.

Thankfully most survive, which means a whole lot of families and communities will be strapped with unnecessary medical bills and/or early death. Most of the deaths are elderly people but they’re being robbed of 5-20 years of life. We also have no idea what the long-term costs survivors face.

We will be paying for COVID-19 for decades, which means federal and state funding for education will be stretched thinner than normal. Instead of embracing innovation the fiscal conservative party protested for a return to “normal.” Let’s look at normal, 2010 open a new school, 2015 close five schools, 2019 one school needs $45 million in repairs, building a new Career and Tech Center, but no one wants to raise property taxes. I don’t want property taxes to increase, but instead of pursuing new techniques, new strategies, and new technologies, we heard rally cries of reopen, return to normal, all of which don’t solve the problems we had and/or the new problems we face.

“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” another staple of fiscal conservatives. However, I see social media posts saying, “I need babysitting, my kid is suffering, virtual is a failure, open the schools.” Instead of teaching coping mechanisms and looking for future fiscal opportunities, most whine. Why? Because playing the victim was elected president in 2016.

The GOP fought responding to the pandemic instead of the pandemic. Responsibility was kicked to governors, then the president mocked governors. The GOP is a reactionary party that left all principals to follow a conman. That’s why a high-level Republican strategist wrote a book called, “It Was All A Lie.”

Jeremy Myers

Hampstead

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