‘Intertribal hatred’  — in America?

My trips to Kenya had been wonderful — warm weather, friendly people and sandy beaches stretching out into the Indian Ocean. Life was good. Then in 2007, I noticed that the coming elections had also brought hate speech on local radio, pitting one tribe against another. Meetings were held, with angry people inciting others to be angry.

Local friends told me that inciting intertribal hatred was a technique that national politicians used to increase their voter turnout during presidential elections. The challenger had accused the government of rigging the elections even before they began, and after he lost the large-scale violence began, with about 500,000 people displaced and an estimated 1,000 killed over two months.

I was surprised and disappointed, both that the leadership would create these unneeded tensions within the country for their own political purposes, and that the people would internalize what they were told and act out violently against their neighbors.

Now I sadly see that we are no wiser in the U.S., our leaders claiming our voting system is corrupt before the votes are in, and our divided people embracing the hate speech, standing by as directed.

Brian Heaven, Federal Way

Get big money out of politics

Re: “As Biden taps into donor windfall, some in GOP sit this one out” [Oct. 25, A1]:

If we, as citizens of this great country, want to understand what’s really wrong with America, then we need look no further than this article.

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 We need to get big money, and for what it’s worth, corporate money, out of politics. As the article informs us, direct contributions per individual are limited to $5,600. But then if you have the resources, and I’d guess 99% of us don’t, you can make what appears to be an unlimited contribution to your favorite politician or group through the many political action committees out there. It’s appalling to see that retired Microsoft executives Linda and David Cornfield were allowed to contribute $1.4 million to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

That is so unfair, and it doesn’t matter Democrat or Republican. All contributions should be capped; no individual or company should be allowed to contribute more than the average American could or would. No individual or company should be able to buy an election or a seat in any office. Period.

Doug Barovsky, Sammamish

Where has fiscal responsibility gone?

Whatever happened to the Republican value of fiscal responsibility? Because of irresponsible fiscal policy, President Donald Trump is ultimately bad for the long-term economy.

His policies prove to be more focused on short-term stimulus than the country’s long-term financial stability and people. His administration’s pre-pandemic tax cuts and greater spending increased economic output and employment in the short term through debt-fueled spending at the demise of long-term growth and financial security.

Debt-fueled government and household spending stimulates the economy in the short term. The associated debt payments have the opposite effect in the long term. The use of expansionary monetary and fiscal policy to continuously stimulate the economy in the short term through expenditures that do not improve productivity or the sustainable expansion of productive capacity cause asset and debt bubbles.

Depressions, severe recessions and financial crises will be inevitable under Trump’s plan when the debt and asset bubbles deflate.

Gerd Weyer, Enumclaw

Be patient: ‘Every voice counts’

Predictions and polls abound about how the 2020 election will play out this November, but one thing is almost certain: We are not going to have results on election night. Do not be persuaded that anyone knows for sure Nov. 3. We have mail-in ballots that will take time to get counted. Even though Washington is experienced, many states are new to this type of voting.

We will be fine even if we have to wait for democracy to run its course. Every vote deserves to be counted accurately and completely. Every voice counts. We need to encourage the media and candidates to be patient in announcing the results from that process. This year is like no other. Showing patience for our 2020 elections is just one more COVID-19 challenge.

Joan Smith, Edmonds