Civics instruction is sorely lacking

Nancy Pelosi has suggested that we lower the voting age to 16. I am willing to lower it to age 6 if 6-year-olds would just take my 40-hour course in civics. Our public schools dropped this subject sometime ago.

First, require all 6-year-olds to watch both political conventions with their full attention. This means they put their cellphones away and actively watch all of the speakers. After hearing a speaker, they must give at least one idea the speaker presented.

They must try to put aside the biases that have influenced them in the past.

Tom Herzog

East Ridge


Americans are deservedly a proud people

In our country we do funny things. Generally we are fun-loving people and take our fun very seriously. We love sports! Thousands of people attend games and have fun cheering for their players and favorite teams. They will discuss days upon end about their favorite players and teams.

Church is another favorite fun time. You attend a church of your choice in our democratic society. Church is enhanced by a love for the preacher, choir music and instrumental music. Music touches our hearts and souls. Going to church means everyone can eat at their favorite restaurant afterward.

Politics is another favorite sport. America is a model society where we should try not to serve ourselves, but serve the welfare of others. Americans have fun and feel good helping the unfortunate.

It would be easy to expound further about the state of politics, but whatever is wrong, an overwhelming majority would say they are proud to be Americans. Americans truly love making things better.

Amos Taj



Highest military honor was disrespected

To [Chattanooga Times cartoonist] Clay Bennett: Please know that I rarely shed a tear. My mom and dad's passing drew a ton, and far too many soldiers' deaths, maiming injuries and stunning sacrifices in combat have drawn the same.

But when I looked at your recent political cartoon depicting the president awarding a "Loser Medal" to a decorated soldier, I welled up with deep sadness for America.

While I celebrate your right to provide editorial cartoon political depictions, you chose to portray a presidential act almost always signifying the award of the Medal of Honor in a trite, disdainful and wholly disrespectful manner. How in God's name could you do this? Have you no respect for valor in combat or what that valor means?

Sir, in the future please — please — refrain from bringing our precious service members' awards for heroism into your political belittlement portrayals. The Medal of Honor is the Medal of Honor. It is near sacred to those of us who have served in combat. Leave it alone. Leave it out of the political debate. It is for those who earn it and Americans who cherish the sacrifices associated with it.

B.B. Bell, General, U.S. Army (Retired)



Trump out to destroy Social Security

Billionaires don't need Social Security, and most of them resent the government (which they largely control) paying it. Eliminating payroll taxes that fund Social Security will destroy it. We are entering that ultimate billionaires' dream now. President Trump has by fiat suspended payroll taxes from Sept. 1 through Dec. 30. That suspended debt he promises to forgive if re-elected. Bribe?

Franklin Roosevelt enacted Social Security after labor movements had fought for decades against the ultra-rich to obtain decent old age insurance paid incrementally out of hard-earned wages. It has been furiously opposed from inception. If Trump is re-elected, he has said he will eliminate the payroll tax source of Social Security. Trump also looks forward to the Supreme Court's November ruling when five or six men abolish health care insurance for 20 million of us. The socialism scare is a red herring.

Thomas Piketty in "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" observes, "In all human societies, health and education have an intrinsic value: the ability to enjoy years of good health, like the ability to acquire knowledge and culture, is one of the fundamental purposes of civilization."

Tim Taylor Jr.


Socialism or not, give us what Denmark has

I was quite taken aback, stunned even, at the opinion piece by Kay C. James on the Free Press editorial page. In particular, about the part where Denmark is a free market economy that produces the goods and services that the government then heavily taxes to finance an extensive welfare state. She then says that is not socialism.

If that is her argument, then I readily capitulate. We are not communists; the center/left has argued exactly for what she seems to think is perfectly acceptable. Thank goodness this problem is finally solved.

Keith Wilkinson

Red Bank


Dems, what could possibly go wrong?

Our major cities are being looted and burned. Police precincts are under attack and forced to be abandoned. Police themselves are beaten and killed. Meanwhile cries go up for defunding the police. Who is going to protect us if they cannot protect themselves? While these events take place, Democrats are aggressively stating their intent to take away our guns.

When it comes time to vote, remember these three facts:

1. Democratically controlled governments are in charge of the cities where rioting and burning are taking place.

2. Joe Biden has acknowledged that he is in favor of removing monies from police.

3. Democrats are intending to take away our guns so that we will not be able to defend ourselves.

What could possibly go wrong with this progressive agenda?

Luther Brown




AP and its nuances can just shove off

The Associated Press article on your front page (Aug. 30) was useless in my opinion.

In discussing the looting, violence and destruction, it said, "The reality on the ground is much more nuanced."

I looked up in Webster's dictionary the definition of "nuanced." It means variation. Variation means to vary. Vary means to alter. So they are saying to us that "we cannot believe our lying eyes."

The AP also said in the database tracking crime statistics "the numbers are nuanced." Are the killings, lootings, burning buildings, hitting police with bricks and bottles, hurting of families of those killed, police in the hospital all just "nuanced?"

I am sure the TFP has reporters who could do an excellent job of writing news. Maybe the TFP should make a new section of the paper. Call it the Associated Press section, so I could just throw that section in the garbage.

Ruth Cote



Wheeler, de Blasio up for 'Worst Mayor'

There are many Democratic mayors of Democrat-run large U.S. cities who have one thing in common — they are vying right now in the contest for the "Worst Mayor in the Country" award, which will be given to the one doing the best job of ruining their city.

And the one who can be the most inept and incompetent mayor this year. The one who can keep their city burning the longest. The one who can help inflame violence the best, and not squelch it! Who can inflict the most amount of panic and fear on their residents. And who can ruin their police departments in the process.

Then, who can run out in front of the cameras and microphones and scream the loudest and blame everything bad that is going on in their city on Trump!

It is horribly tragic to watch and think of so many wonderful fellow Americans who are trapped and suffering in these once-beautiful and peaceful cities.

Right now, Ted Wheeler of Portland and Bill de Blasio of New York City are running neck and neck to receive this coveted, yet infamous, award!

J. L. Johns

Ringgold, Georgia