Restoring confidence in the system, just what is Sinclair and Trump supporters quite satisfied.

Restoring confidence

Public approval of the legislative branch of our government hovers around 10 percent. Here are four imperatives to reform and revitalize our Congress. They are given in no special order of importance.

(1) Outlaw dark money in politics. Every dollar spent for a political purpose, be it in support of a candidate or a cause, needs to be clearly labeled as to the source, and anonymous group labels are forbidden (think PACs.)

(2) Make gerrymandering illegal. Every state should have a non-partisan commission, operating under federal guidelines, to delineate electoral districts.

(3) Eliminate closed, one-party primaries. Closed primaries foster ideologically extreme candidates, who when elected contribute to gridlock in Washington.

(4) Demand an end to various schemes of voter suppression. Why not vote on weekends when people aren’t working? Why artificially restrict polling stations and hours, especially in minority areas? Why deny voting rights to non-violent felons who have served out their sentences?

Is this list exhaustive? Of course not. But I think honest voters of any political persuasion can agree these ideas make a start towards rehabilitating what should be a cornerstone of our democracy but has sadly fallen from grace.

Robert L. Egolf, Ocala

 

Who Sinclair is

This is in response to the letter “Who is Sinclair?” (April 9):

Sinclair Broadcast Group is a public company that owns and/or operates 193 TV stations in the U.S. with affiliations to broadcast TV networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and UHF networks.

Combined, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s TV stations have a national audience reach of 40 percent. The current FCC rules allow a maximum of 39 percent. So technically, Sinclair is in violation of the law as they attempt to purchase Tribune Media, which would bring their TV station ownership total to 233 and go blatantly beyond the legal limit of audience reach by a single owner.

This is way too much control and influence and has prompted strong public push-back and court challenges. Regardless of one’s political viewpoint, it is very important not to allow one entity to have overwhelming control of our airwaves. Therefore, I urge readers to contact their senators and House representatives and oppose the purchase of Tribune Media.

Sinclair Broadcast Group also has a record of mandating “must run” segments to their local stations. This is what prompted the recent public outcry referred to by the author of the April 9 letter to the editor. “Must run” segments, in this case, were corporately mandated editorial statements with a specific political viewpoint that local news anchors were forced to read during news broadcasts. Some of the local news anchors objected because the corporate viewpoint was contrary to their own. Others objected due to the blurring of the line between hard news and editorial.

Alan Brown, Stone Creek

 

Trump’s strengths

The writers of the letters “Laughing stock” and “Trump out of control” demonstrate the results of living in the distorted world of MSNBC.

Gun deaths are up? I guess President Trump suggested we all go out and shoot each other. Let’s ban guns and, as the mayor of London just recommended, ban knives because of the flood of stabbings in London. What’s next, rocks and clubs?

So Trump voters are responsible for Russia poisoning people? Is that just the two who were poisoned in England or all those poisoned in the past 20 years?

Tariffs on farm products? That might happen, but so far it’s just a bargaining position and has caused China to promise to reduce tariffs on U.S. automobiles. Trump is right about rebuilding our steel and aluminum industries. What would have been the outcome of World War II if we hadn’t controlled those industries in 1941? What many of these Trump haters fail to realize is that a successful businessman negotiates from strength, not weakness.

So Russia and Iran are taking over Syria? Just now? Who drew a red line and then backed off with his tail between his legs? That’s when we became a laughing stock.

As for fake news, that’s a bit strong. We have to realize that most of the media have a strong leaning toward the Democrats, which is why Trump derides them.

So actually, Trump voters are quite satisfied, if for no other reason than he’s driving the liberal media and those who consider themselves elites up the wall.

Robert New, Silver Springs