Letters to the Editor

11/3 Letters: Obama drove the country left. Trump may be crass, but he’s reversing that

Trump’s no threat

Gene Nichol’s Nov. 1 opinion piece op-ed column pretty much wore out his thesaurus coming up with disparaging words to describe President Trump.

No, Trump is not a smooth-talking Obama — he is crass and direct to a fault. Yes, he’s narcissistic too, but no more so than smug Obama who literally looks down his nose at us.

It would do Nichol well to remember that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Obama veered the country far left. Trump is trying to us veer us back toward the right. Maybe we can reach the center.

Conservatives are tired of all the hyperbolic characterizations of Trump that by extension are clearly also directed at his supporters.

No, Trump is not an existential threat to democracy. However, Democrat efforts to overturn the results of an election by any means necessary certainly are.

Stephen Browne, Cary

Impeachment

Listening to Thursday’s House vote, it became even more crystal clear that Republicans will never accept the legitimacy of any government unless it is one led by Republicans.

The whining and crying about the “process” would be funny, did it not have dire consequences for the U.S. government. Not one word in defense of Trump’s actions.

The House can run the impeachment any way it wants to because Democrats hold the majority of seats. That’s the way impeachment works. In the words of Mick Mulvaney, “get over it.”

And for those clamoring to “let the voters decide” — the voters did decide. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes.

Laurie McDowell, Raleigh

Natural gas plants

It’s time for leaders across the country to stop the expansion of natural gas infrastructure.

Duke Energy is planning to spend billions building dozens of natural gas power plants in the Carolinas, which are damaging to public health while countering efforts to slow climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that societies must complete nearly half the transition to a net-zero carbon economy during the next decade to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

The power plants and pipelines planned by Duke would operate far beyond that timeline. This build-out of gas is also financially risky for ratepayers and investors, who may be saddled with higher costs and stranded assets as markets keep shifting to less costly wind and solar matched with battery storage, which is quickly solving the intermittency challenge of renewables. This transition is creating thousands of good jobs.

We’ve called on Gov. Roy Cooper to impose a moratorium on new natural gas infrastructure in N.C. and lead an effort to do the same across the country. The global community needs bold leadership at this critical time.

Drew Shindell

Duke University, Earth Sciences professor

Dale Evarts

Former director, EPA Climate and International Group

Corporate subsidies

“Look ahead for affordable housing” (Oct. 27 Opinion) correctly points out that growth and rising incomes add to the demand for housing and housing prices. As a result, they magnify the affordable housing problem.

The problem is also magnified by government subsidies to corporations that relocate in Raleigh.

The subsidies are rationalized as bringing more jobs to Raleigh, but defenders ignore that new jobs bring more people and an increased demand for housing.

By exempting corporations from local taxes, subsidies reduce the tax base and increase the burden for current residents.

This problem could be addressed directly by ending offers of “incentives” to corporations that move here.

We can welcome new arrivals, but we can also ask them to pay the same taxes that current residents pay.

Thomas Grennes, Raleigh

Economics professor emeritus, NCSU

Abortion protest

Last week a national anti-abortion group made its rounds across N.C. colleges promoting its “Genocide Awareness Project.”

Their message included 30-year-old questionable graphic images and pamphlets that compared abortions to the Holocaust and lynching.

While protest in general is often meant to create discomfort, there is a responsibility to balance freedom of speech with the harm it may cause. Shaming women and doctors and making inflammatory comparisons to lynching, slavery and genocide conjure up traumatic hurt and toxic stress for many.

The majority of Americans believe legal access to safe abortion is an important function of health care. Criminalizing those faced with difficult choices will create an unsafe black market for anyone not privileged enough to travel for a safe abortion.

This is not the first time this group has toured North Carolina, but hopefully it will be the last. Those empowered to impose guidelines which allow respectful and civil protests would be wise to make changes now to ensure that.

Jennifer Rudolph, Wake Forest

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