Both Sens. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have made it clear by their statements that the forthcoming trial of President Trump in the Senate will be reduced to a sham.

Senators will take an oath committing to a fair trial in the proceedings. If they fail to allow appropriate and pertinent witnesses to be admitted, the American people demanding a fair trial will be their judge.

Constituents should call the office of Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn to express their opinions as it is uncertain that she will stand for a fair trial.

John Bratton, Sewanee


Appeals for blood donations endure

On my latest donor visit to the Blood Assurance satellite office in Hixson in December, I asked the phlebotomist about the current availability of blood product supply. He informed me that it was not good.

I suppose that with cold and rainy weather, fewer donors are coming in. The ongoing possibility of severe traffic accidents also can limit availability of whole blood, platelets, plasma and red blood cells.

May the readers of the Times Free Press forgive me for sending yet another appeal for donors to step up to share precious bodily life. I care more about the well-being of the community than I do about whether I receive criticism for many similar letters.

If I can solve my transportation problems, I hope to give more of my platelets.

Harry Geller


'Better Angels' aims to close divisions

Many thanks to all who turned out for last month's inaugural Better Angels workshop. Better Angels is a citizens' organization uniting "red" and "blue" Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America.

The group brings reds, blues and political independents together to talk, listen and understand. The aim is to help us understand each other and reduce the hostility that is poisoning our civic culture.

On the strength of our successful first workshop, plans for a second event are in the works. Look for announcements in the Times Free Press. For more information, see the Better Angels website.

All who are interested in these constructive conversations are invited.

Mary Priestley, Sewanee


U.S. deserves fair trial in the Senate

As we enter 2020, we as Americans expect 2020 to be better than 2019. 2019 brought us chaos, anger, uncertainly, hatred and division in our political system and country.

We have a first-term president who has been impeached by the House of Representatives. The House, acting as a grand jury, heard testimony from individuals and came to the conclusion there was enough evidence to impeach President Trump and have a trial in the United States Senate.

The senators are jurors. Some already have stated they believe President Trump is innocent and have stated they will move not to even have a trial. Sen. Mitch McConnell stated he is working with the White House on how to handle the trial. The prosecution is asking the accused how he wants the trial to proceed. Really!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has every right to hold the articles of impeachment until the Senate commits to a fair and honest trial. If the president wants to testify and have witnesses, he should have them.

I urge everyone to vote in 2020, and to call, write, text or email their U.S. senators to proceed with a fair impeachment trial with witnesses.

Bobby Fanning, Tullahoma, Tennessee