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NAFTA has been bad for Mexico

When the Rapid City Journal published an editorial supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement, I just had to write. NAFTA promotes trade between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. and the cost to the Mexican people has been severe.

If you cross the border at Nogales and travel south through the state of Sonora, you see vast irrigated agricultural fields. Once an area farmed by Mexicans using low-impact methods, this land is now farmed by American corporations using pivot irrigation, large machinery, and lots of chemicals. The local farmers pushed off their land have two choices: scratch out a poor living in the mountains or migrate to the U.S. American-raised corn, since NAFTA, has flooded the Mexican market, underpricing the locally grown corn, putting local corn farmers out of business.

Then there are the maquiladoras, big manufacturing plants on the border that hire Mexicans at low wages to work in poor conditions to produce electronics, toys, pharmaceuticals and other products used by Americans. Health problems arise as the workers consume fast food and mothers no longer stay home to tend their vegetable gardens and cook for their families. Should Americans support NAFTA? Ask the Mexicans.

Shirley Frederick

Rapid City

Trump has it easier than Nixon

TV commentators have often compared Trump's current situation to that of Nixon's. While there are certainly similarities, there are also glaring differences that don't seem to get much attention. One of the most obvious is that some Republican congress people in the Nixon era believed in "country over party." Six of 17 Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee joined all 21 Democrats and voted for his impeachment in 1974.

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Now, however, despite Trump's well-known contempt for our institutions and overwhelming evidence of his treason, it would be hard to find six Republicans (who are running for another term) with the integrity or courage to vote against him. And he has his own TV channel to echo his every lie and cheer his misdeeds. Also, the once relatively apolitical evangelicals love him. Guess they empathize with his fabrications and have no problem with his complete lack of morals.

Nixon faced a Congress and public much more informed and discerning than today. Blind obedience without regard for facts has replaced any patriotism the GOP ever had. It has become a much uglier and scarier world than it was in 1974.

Terry Painter

Rapid City

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