Bjorkman has the values we need

Like many Americans, I am concerned about the path our country is on. We have concentrated governmental power in the hands of those whose loyalty is to wealthy interests that finance their campaigns, not the voters they pretend to serve. This recent tax bill — which a Gallup poll showed had only 29 percent approval — is the latest evidence. Despite its unpopularity, our current representatives are overjoyed to force a rushed, reckless and risky bill on us. They feel no obligation to make it a carefully considered piece of legislation or even to understand what’s in it before voting on it.

To get real representation for the people of this state, we need to support candidates who will put our interests first. That’s why I support Tim Bjorkman for U.S. Congress, a fifth-generation South Dakotan who will fight for affordable and timely health care, a higher minimum wage, and electoral and ethical reform, both statewide and in Washington, D.C. He will bring integrity, decency and judgment — qualities sadly lacking in our government right now.

Let’s send that to Washington for a change. We can’t keep voting for representatives who support dangerous and irresponsible policies. It’s time to right the ship.

Marsha Ahrenkiel

Rapid City

Blaming the media doesn't hold up

Of the few letters here supporting the GOP tax bill, a couple said we shouldn’t judge the proposed legislation, because we don’t know what’s in it — weeks after the internet, newspapers, magazines, TV and radio were full of detailed analysis and argument about Republicans’ intended changes.

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This reminds me of arguing with a conservative friend, who when argued out declares we can’t know the truth about anything because we can’t believe anything anybody says. The “mainstream media” — formerly “the press,” formerly respected as guardian of democracy even as readers were assumed able to make allowances for the viewpoint of any given source — is now disregarded as too confusing, or when it contradicts peoples’ bias, as dishonest. Some are perplexed by apparently sincere, informed people reaching different conclusions.

Since citizens of a republic need to know the world beyond their personal ken, we can’t give up on media. All of us learned at least a little in school. We can all listen to viewpoints, compare motivations and qualifications of the speakers, discuss them with people we respect, and make the best, most informed decisions we can, whether voting or deciding what to forward on Facebook.

Peter Hasby

Rapid City

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