Bullying tactics

The Trump administration foreign policy doesn’t hesitate to abandon joint efforts with allies. Initially and solely, it consists of trying (unsuccessfully) to bully less powerful countries with tariffs and economic sanctions until they give us what we want.

We want North Korea to denuclearize, so we have hit that impoverished country with tough sanctions. North Korea still has nuclear weapons and now has a missile that can reach the continental U.S.

We want China to stop stealing American technology, so we have levied tariffs that make our own importers pay tens of millions of dollars. China’s retaliatory tariffs on agricultural products have hit our farmers hard. China hasn’t agreed to any restrictions on technology transfers.

We want Iran to accept tougher terms than the nuclear deal that capped its uranium enrichment, so we abandoned that deal and blasted Iran’s economy with crippling sanctions. Now Iran is enriching uranium with no limit and launching attacks in the Strait of Hormuz.

We sanctioned Russia after the annexation of Crimea. Crimea is still Russian, and Russian troops are gnawing on Ukraine’s eastern provinces.

We want President Nicolas Maduro out of power in Venezuela, so we stopped buying Venezuelan oil and sanctioned Cuba for supporting the Venezuelan regime. Maduro still governs.

How many failures will it take till we understand that bullying is a stupid foreign policy?

Larry Roth

Winston-Salem

Health care question

Can someone please explain to me why our Republican state legislators do not want uninsured North Carolinians to have health care, which they could provide through Medicaid (“Medicaid expansion bill is put on fast track,” July 10)? I can’t understand. I would think that uninsured people would cost the state more. Where is my thinking wrong?

Betty Bewley

Winston-Salem

Against Democracy

This situation with the citizenship question on the U.S. census is crazy. I’m not a lawyer, but “give us a few days to think up a better lie” doesn’t seem to me like a winning legal strategy (“A sour census tweet,” July 7).

Then again, the unpredictable Supreme Court, with Chief Justice John Roberts essentially saying, “We’ll look at it again if you can think of a better lie,” doesn’t instill a whole lot of confidence.

There’s more at stake in America today than whether abortions will be limited to 20 weeks or 24. There’s more at stake than how high our taxes will be. Democracy itself — the ability of the people to choose their elected leaders — and the rule of law are on trial. Those are core American values.

The census question and the gerrymandering question show that President Trump and the Republican Party stand against them both.

Monty Owen

Winston-Salem

Housing needs

The images of immigrants living in shelters on the border struck a chord with most Americans. They reminded me of the numerous evenings I have spent volunteering in this city’s overflow homeless shelters.

Approximately 90 legal residents are provided the basic comfort of a mat and blanket in four temporary shelters from December to March. But those facilities only provide sanctuary for four months. Last week, while the country seemed focused on the living conditions of immigrants on our border, I came upon a “bench friend” sleeping on the street as I took my morning walk.

As compassionate Americans, we should be concerned about the manner in which we treat refugees. As Winston-Salem citizens, we need to find a means to provide housing for our own neighbors. As we speak out about the needs of immigrants, let us not forget our fellow Americans.

Tom S. Williams

Winston-Salem

Hiring a consultant

A consultant is usually one who is an expert in his field. Where does one go to find a name decider (City may go slower on controversial Dixie Classic name change,” July 9)? To the National Association of Name Deciders? What colleges confer a BS in Name Deciding? Or would it be a BA in Name Deciding? Just asking for a friend.

Romaine Poindexter

Kernersville

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