Another civil senator

William Hershey, in his Aug. 22 op-ed “‘Civility’ gets good things done,” recalled that after presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden entered the “Senate in 1973 he got along with the late Sens. James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, fellow Democrats who were also strong segregationists.” Hershey noted that Biden has recently been subjected to “rebukes” for his working relationships with overtly racists U.S. senators.

More than a decade before Biden was elected to Congress, Massachusetts Sen. John Kennedy faced the same quandary having to deal with Eastland. In “A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House,” Arthur Schlesinger Jr. recounted the 1960 presidential campaign strategy when his Harvard colleague, John Kenneth Galbraith, met with the Democratic presidential nominee to discuss civil rights:

“Galbraith, seeking some way by which Kennedy might dramatize his commitment to the issue, suggested an announcement that, if elected, he would try to prevent Eastland of Mississippi from continuing as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Schlesinger wrote. “Kennedy answered quickly, ‘It wouldn’t be in character for me to do that. After all, the Senate is a body where you have to get along with people regardless of how much you disagree. I’ve always got along pretty well with old Eastland.’”

Politicians, by virtue of the job, are forced to deal with disagreeable persons. Anyone dealing with the public — cashiers, post office workers, bank tellers, wait staff, police officers, teachers, litigators, flight attendants, bus drivers, etc., all have to deal with irate and insensitive people in a professional manner, too. Civility is not a new concept. As Hershey noted, “That is the way to get things done, but only if they’re worth doing.”

Bradley Le Boeuf, Cuyahoga Falls

 

Not mental illness

There are many causes for mass shootings other than mental illness. The Washington Post reported that most mass shooters carry more than one gun, and the majority of the guns were obtained legally.

I don't usually agree with the president on anything, but I think he was correct in saying violent video games have adverse effects.

Violence seems to have taken over because it increases the bottom line. Not only violent video games, but TV and movies, too, have become increasingly violent, with guns playing a vital part. In addition, deterioration and disruption in family life figure into the equation.

Mental illness may be the cause in some instances but cannot be attributed to every mass shooting. Arthur Evans, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association, says blaming mental illness for gun violence is inaccurate and stigmatizes people with mental illness.

No one can convince me that a person with mental illness has the capacity to plan and orchestrate a mass shooting.

Alice Marson, Cuyahoga Falls

 

Confronting China, finally

With the tariffs, President Donald Trump is trying to do what other presidents have only talked about. It's all about fair trade and protection of intellectual property. The Chinese don't want either. The Democrats don't want Trump to be successful, even though they have always known China is eating our lunch.

There is no reason for the Chinese to buckle now. With the help of our press, and Democrats, they must figure it best to wait until after the election. They know if Trump is defeated, the next president will lack the necessary testosterone to challenge them.

Gary Eaton, Stow