Closed accounts

I was reading the Jan. 26 front page and was drawn to the story “Selling tactic a hit until it wasn’t” by Richard Craver.

I closed my account at Wells Fargo after reading about one of the first large fines. I was not impacted in any way, but could not deal with a supplier with this background of deceit. During the following years, much larger actions have cost Wells Fargo more massive fines.

So please, if your article is about Wells Fargo, put this in the headline, not just in the indicator to continue reading on page A12.

I cannot understand why everybody has not closed their accounts at Wells Fargo. Perhaps you can write an editorial about this phenomenon?

Michael Rahman

Winston-Salem

Let men be good…

William Penn, in his Frame of Government for Pennsylvania (1682), stated enduring principles for democratic government. In his preface, Penn wrote, “Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad.” Conversely, “if men be bad” they will corrupt government.

Much of Penn’s Frame of Government aimed to support civic virtue. First, Penn proposed that government see that “youth may be successively trained up in virtue” and discourage civic vices such as “rudeness, cruelty,” and other behaviors.

Second, a high priority was “to secure the people from the abuse of power.” Thus, Penn sought prohibitions against bribery of voters and against government officials taking bribes. He apparently realized that such bribery makes citizens cynical and resigned to bad government.

Third, Penn thought disregard for truth was very harmful to society. He wrote “spreaders of false news” were “enemies of the peace and concord of this province.”

All this seems familiar today. We daily see “rudeness and cruelty” in the tweets of our top elected official. In the states, partisan gerrymandering corrupts democracy as much as vote-buying did in Penn’s time. And today false “news” is manufactured wholesale and intentionally, and spread by social media more attuned to profits than truth.

Penn’s writings were a warning that bad character of leaders should not be excused just because some of us may like certain of their policies. Bad character may be as threatening as bad policies.

Donald E. Frey

Winston-Salem

No celebration

There’s no reason to celebrate President Trump’s proliferate appointment of judges, as the writer of the Jan. 25 letter “By a landslide” claims. For one thing, it’s more a victory designed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who blocked appointments during President Obama’s administration. Trump stumbled into it by accident.

More important than that, many of Trump’s nominees have been unqualified. Many had no court experience. Several were found “not qualified” by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee of the Federal Judiciary. The only qualification that mattered to Trump was that they were “pro-life.”

People who oppose abortion rights may applaud that, but it’s not going to be good for the people who have to stand before them and hope for fair trials.

Trump promised conservative judges, not fair judges or even good judges. No one should pretend that we’ll have greater justice in America because of them. We’ll have ideological judges who rule not by law, but by their conservative opinions.

Lou Collins

Winston-Salem

The scarlet letter

Whenever a conservative criticizes President Trump, even the least little bit, he or she is accused of being “liberal.” It doesn’t matter what their conservative credentials are. One step out of line, one question or comment, and the questioner is given the scarlet letter: “L.”

A great many conservatives have spoken out against Trump, including Republican strategist Rick Wilson, former Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Justin Amash, columnist George Will and even Fox News reporters. The reply from conservatives is always that they’re not true conservatives, they’re liberal.

On Monday, Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia said that Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, a former Republican presidential candidate, was trying to “appease the left” by supporting witnesses at Trump’s impeachment trial.

Also on Monday, Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs said that former National Security Adviser John Bolton is now “a tool for the left.”

John Bolton.

Maybe these conservatives have it wrong. Maybe it’s Trump who is not the real conservative. Maybe he’s an opportunistic con man with no affiliation beyond serving himself.

Peter Ro

Winston-Salem

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