Trump's fondness for Putin troubling

Donald Trump met with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, for two hours with only two interpreters present. Trump has not disclosed the meeting content. Putin has since mentioned a few topics, but we have no U.S. confirmation.

While there, Trump discounted the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election despite Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian military operatives for this interference, and he displayed verbal and physical fondness for Putin. Putin stated he was glad Trump had been elected rather than Clinton. Trump still shows very little concern about or urgency to address the confirmed, current Russian cyber threat to the 2018 midterms. It seems that as long as the Russians are helping Trump or his candidates get elected, he’s good with it. In fact, Trump invited Putin to the U.S., but postponed due to political pressure.

This sabotage of our elections undermines the democratic principles that have guided our country since its founding. The U.S. has been a democracy. Trump seems to prefer a U.S. run by an autocrat and oligarchs whose guiding principal is accumulation of power and wealth at any cost. Putin is reportedly the richest man in the world.

Jerry Meyer

Black Hawk

Bjorkman has a fresh perspective

Tim Bjorkman doesn’t accept PAC or special interest money, and he doesn’t attack other candidates in his run for Congress. But it’s what he’s for that counts most. He wants us to pull together for the things that really matter.

Bjorkman has witnessed the plight of young people as a circuit court judge: the hopelessness, drugs and desperation that end in violence — and the endless heartbreak of so many families. He knows the well-being of young people should be our top priority; that when we help the kids, we help all of us. There’s something special in this man’s message. The hollowing out of American values is a frightening hallmark of our time, and Bjorkman has seen the consequences in his courtroom. He understands the deep meaning of what Thomas Jefferson meant by the Pursuit of Happiness: that we experience that happiness when we contribute, not just to the private well-being of ourselves, but to the well-being of others, the kids in particular. 

It’s a spiritual side of citizenship, and we have known it, in our better moments, as the “Good Life.” Bjorkman runs deep. He invites us to see ourselves at our best.

David Miller

Rapid City

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