Letters to the editor, Feb. 5, 2017

February 5, 2017 GMT

The Republican Party conducted a scorched earth campaign against President Barack Obama and all his efforts. This reached its nadir with the president’s intent to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, featuring obstruction never seen before, to the detriment of the country and the Constitution. Had Hillary Clinton won, their plan was the even more outrageous and unprecedented — one of not filling any vacancies for four or eight years.

Now, in less than two weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, they are ready to move ahead. Regardless of any qualities that Judge Neil Gorsuch, the nominee, has, the real issue is that it cannot be a one-way street: Republicans cannot destroy our form of government in the interest of a one-party state (akin to the Communist Party’s role in the former Soviet Union) while the Democratic Party plays “by the rules.”

Not only is it essential for our Democratic senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, to oppose this nomination until the “game” works fairly in both directions, it is absolutely essential that you prevail on any wavering Democratic senators of the need, this time, for a 100 percent united front. Otherwise, it is a game of “heads I win, tails you lose.” For me, and many other voters, this would be the end of any support a Democrat deserves.

Kenneth Alan Collins

Santa Fe

Let the public weigh in

The rapid push by the president and Congress to destroy the Affordable Care Act is horrifying to me as mother of an adult child who has serious pre-existing conditions. The health of my daughter (and millions of other Americans) would be jeopardized by eliminating the protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

I urge New Mexico Democratic Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján to fight against repeal without an equally strong replacement, or find solutions to fix those parts of the ACA that need improving. Don’t put 266,000 New Mexicans at risk of losing their health care coverage. Don’t put 332,000 New Mexicans with pre-existing conditions at risk again of not being able to get insured. Whichever direction the president and Congress take this, any plan needs to be transparently debated so that the public has an opportunity to weigh in on any changes.

Lydia Pendley

Health Action New Mexico board member

Santa Fe

International chaos

The Trump administration has created international chaos with its odious ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. (Also, new refugee admissions are suspended for 120 days, and Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely.) Without even providing guidance to immigration officers, the administration left field officers uncertain whether to bar entry to green card holders and others with a lawful right to enter and remain in the U.S.

The restrictions will not protect Americans — indeed, none of the named countries has produced a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil — but will only harm the innocent, such as Syrian families fleeing the civil war. ISIS will no doubt welcome the ban as an effective recruitment tool. Special condemnation is due cowardly Republicans, such as Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence, who denounced the ban when Donald Trump was a candidate but who have since embraced it. History will remember their silence in the face of bigotry.

Mark Davis

Santa Fe

A win-win

Both of my daughters attended a local pre-K education program, where they were given skills and knowledge that helped them succeed. As a physician specializing in diabetes, I strongly support Mayor Javier Gonzales’ pre-K early education proposal (“Some question costs of mayor’s soda tax proposal,” Jan. 29). This program will give our children a strong start on their education, and, because of its financing through a tax on soda, will help prevent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is largely a result of being overweight, and excess sugar — particularly from soda — is a major contributor to our current “obesity epidemic.” As taxpayers, we pay the fees in taxes for those who do not have medical insurance, as well as paying for very high health insurance premiums. A tax on sugar-containing soda not only will improve people’s health, but will save dollars for everyone.

Robert M. Bernstein, M.D.

Santa Fe

Gamble’s qualified

George Gamble’s qualifications for the Santa Fe Community College board are too numerous to list in a letter, so herewith are just some highlights: George has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, which means that he will be able to accurately assess the “culture” of Santa Fe Community College; i.e., he will understand the lay of the land quickly so that he can hit the ground running. He has 25 years of research experience in public health and medical research at the University of North Carolina, which involved the financial end of budgets, grants and administration; two years as Santa Fe County health policy and planning commissioner (2011-13), which educated George about numerous aspects of how best Santa Fe Community College might be able to work cooperatively with the community at large. He’s fluent in Spanish. Also, he’s been a continuing student at SFCC, where he is known for his energy, enthusiasm and willingness to give back to the college and the community. Vote on Feb. 7.

Drs. Dona and Dennis Hoilman

Santa Fe