While in the Air Force I lived throughout the U.S. and overseas. It was common for new coworkers to ask. “Where are you from?” I was always proud to answer, “North Carolina.”

I would be ashamed to say that now because of the cowardly way Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis voted for no witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial. As I write this, they have given every indication they will vote to acquit.

They swore an oath to defend the Constitution. It did not say “defend the Republican Party and Donald Trump.” Apparently they are more concerned about their political futures than about a president who abuses the powers of his office and has set a precedent for foreign powers to influence (dictate?) who sits in the White House, and probably the House and Senate as well.

When Burr announced he would not seek reelection, I had hoped he would rise above the Republican muck and stand up for democracy. Were his votes tainted by hopes for a government appointment or a Republican-affiliated position in the private sector?

Experts have explained that the Senate process wasn’t a trial in the true judicial sense, and the rules of a standard criminal trial didn’t apply. Does double jeopardy not apply? If Democrats regain the Senate majority, can Trump be impeached again for abuse of power or other offenses?

What a blow to his mega-ego to have that double asterisk beside his name in the history books. Imagine the Twitter storm. Oooo-weee!

James H. Dilda


Journal sold

As a recent arrival to Winston-Salem, I’ve relied on the Journal to learn about our new home, and it’s a pretty good paper.

The Jan. 30 Journal included the news that it’s being sold (“Journal, other papers sold”). The article is on the business page and it relates almost solely to the business end, not the journalism end. It focused on print “products” and new revenue opportunities as well as “operational synergies across an expanded portfolio.” (No journalist wrote that.)

There was a rote mention of good local journalism, but also a mention of likely cuts in the newsroom. I hope Lee Enterprises realizes what it has in the Journal and avoids the savage cuts that have decimated so many papers. I’d like to see an article on the front page about Lee’s plans for the paper.

Paula Traffas


A sorry show

Your Jan. 29 editorial “Burr’s disappointing statement” was a well-reasoned examination of the Senate’s sorry show. Citizens expect and deserve more from “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” Its majority is in full flight from facts or evidence or fairness. The Journal rightly maintains that we expect and deserve a fair trial, not a kangaroo court.

Further, in North Carolina, we are ill-served by its sunshine senators who blithely, immediately, violated their sacred oaths as soon as they signed the Senate’s big book.

Some will remember Frank Capra’s films, in which principled individuals stood up against raw power: an idealist appointed to Congress finds thorough-going corruption but, by strength of character, manages reform. An utter impossibility today.

Remember when North Carolina’s Sen. Sam Ervin — certainly no liberal — stepped from the Senate’s dim recesses to defend our nation against the rot of Watergate. His commitment to the rule of law and his strength of character made us proud, reminding us what our nation was about.

The Journal’s editorial reminds us that we should demand character from our senators. Instead, we see them as part of a majority that turns its back on justice, evidence and basic fairness.

We North Carolinians have not seen any bright moments from Burr and Tillis representing us. One may be remembered for fidget-spinners and wearing no socks; the other not at all.

Robert Hayes NcNeill


Election letter deadline

Letters about the March 3 primary election must be received no later than 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24, to be considered for publication.

Please submit letters online, with full name, address and telephone number, to Letters@wsjournal.com or mail letters to: The Readers’ Forum, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Letters are subject to editing and are limited to 250 words. For more guidelines and advice on writing letters, go to journalnow.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

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