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Know the issues and vote

As a former mayor of Chattanooga and a political Independent, I had the privilege of working closely with a cross-section of very committed and determined representatives of both major political parties during my time. The process of working together in the same office toward a common goal resulted in fast friendships. Although there were differences, most led to nothing more than good natured ribbing. All agreed on one point: the importance of voting in every election.

2020 is an unusual year. Under the circumstances, it might be tempting to be overly swayed by the polls, by the pandemic or simply be overwhelmed by all the election noise. Accordingly, let's refocus on the importance of this election – it's our chance to directly participate in our democracy. This year, we must know where all the candidates stand on issues that impact people 50+ AND take precautions to vote safely.

It's a matter of patriotism for all. If candidates want older voters to support them, they must talk about the issues that matter most to us, such protecting Medicare and Social Security, lowering prescription drug prices, ensuring safe and affordable long-term care and providing livable communities. Any politician who fails to address the health and financial security of 50+ voters, especially during this pandemic, is out of touch.

The deadline for requesting a mail in ballot might have passed, but if you are comfortable voting in person, early voting begins today and runs through Oct. 29, and, of course, you can always vote on Election Day. Learn more at aarp.org/TNvotes. Don't delay.

Ron Littlefield

 

Trump dropped ball on COVID-19

Thanks to our fearless leader we are now sitting at the cusp of the hardest hit we will receive from COVID-19.

All restrictions are lifted and all legal protections against this deadly disease have been scuttled. The annual influenza will be with us soon and the combination of feckless and politically motivated leadership has doomed us to face this pandemic on our own.

Do you honestly think that you will be treated to the myriad array of experimental cocktails as our orange divider in chief has, because you will not!

Now, 220,021 deaths later and this too-small leader of the so called free world is still crowding people together like sardines on a petri dish.

Good luck to my friends and the Trump rally wagon. We are all gonna need it.

John Mathna

 

Vote for science and our future

The policies and actions of Trump and his administration are wrong for America. His response to the disaster we are facing from climate change is especially egregious. The hottest temperature ever measured on Earth, 130 degrees, was recorded in Death Valley this year. California has experienced the worst five-year drought on record and the largest fires in its history, burning an acre a second. From Maine to North Carolina to Texas rising sea levels are not just demolishing shoreline but also raising rivers and swamping the infrastructure of coastal communities. Americans largely in the Mississippi River Basin from Louisiana to Wisconsin will increasingly face humidity so extreme that working outside and playing school sports could cause heatstroke.

It is estimated that 13 million Americans will be forced to move away from submerged coastlines. Adding to that the number of people contending with wildfires and drought leading to reduced water supplies, and the increased occurrences of hurricanes and tornadoes the number of American climate refugees could be millions larger. Insurance companies are already dropping or declining to renew property policies.

I am hopeful that a vote for candidates who believe in what climate scientists are telling us will save God's creation for us and future generations.

Sally Scholze

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