ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016
Republican Castille: Won't vote for Trump
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump just lost my vote ("More outrage on Trump, Khans," Tuesday).
I am a Vietnam veteran, and I survived the war mostly physically intact, except for my missing leg from combat wounds. That would, in most people's minds, meet the definition of "sacrifice."
But an even greater sacrifice is losing a son in combat while serving our nation, as has Khizr Khan, the Muslim immigrant who spoke of the death of his son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, at the Democratic National Convention. Ghazala Khan stood by silently while her husband defended their faith and Muslim immigrants.
Trump chose to attack Ghazala Khan for her silence and her husband for waving a copy of the U.S. Constitution - new lows for the candidate. Why would she or any mother of a deceased military hero be required to say anything?
I have met many Gold Star mothers (and fathers, sisters, and brothers) at ceremonies at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial. They need not utter a single word - we know their loss; we know their grieving. We have nothing but respect and deep affection for those mothers for their loss and their child's sacrifice.
Trump, in his incredible defense, asserted his "sacrifices" in erecting buildings and creating "tens of thousands of jobs." You don't succeed in business and become a billionaire and call that a sacrifice. When you are successful in declaring multiple million-dollar bankruptcies, as Trump has, the only sacrifice is by those debtors who were paid pennies on the dollar.
I am a Republican, and I have been a Republican candidate in five city elections and five statewide elections, but I'm not voting for Donald Trump for president.
|Ronald D. Castille, former chief justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Rhawnhurst, firstname.lastname@example.org
No friend to vets
As a Republican and an Army veteran, I am voting for Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump is a xenophobic, narcissistic, made-for-TV charlatan.
The "facts," according to his twisted logic:
Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) is not a hero. Does that mean no former American prisoner of war is a hero?
Trump publicly demeaned the parents of a Muslim American soldier-hero who died on the battlefield. He thus demeaned the more than 6,000 sons and daughters killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and their Gold Star families.
He refuses to release his tax returns. Should we assume that he contributed nothing to veterans' causes?
During the Vietnam War, he received four educational draft deferments and a one-year medical deferment for bone spurs. Really?
Fellow veterans, do you really want this fraud as your commander in chief, with his finger on the nuclear button? I don't.
|Ken Bennington, Perkasie
A meaningful gift; a lack of heart
If Donald Trump had any decency and empathy for veterans, he would have thanked Louis Dorfman for offering his Purple Heart but made sure the retired Army lieutenant colonel kept it ("Veteran gives Trump his medal," Wednesday). The Purple Heart does not belong in Trump's hands.
|Gilda Edelstein, Paoli
Veterans, he 'seems to have our back'
The Army veteran and commander of American Legion Post 227 in Delaware County does not understand politics ("Vets, shun Trump," Wednesday).
Did Donald Trump cross the line by criticizing the Muslim parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq? He could have done a better job, but to call on all vets not to vote for him shows a lack of conscience. Why? Does he want a congenital liar in office, or a person who is not a politician but seems to have our back?
I am a disabled veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who will vote for Trump.
|Joseph Del Gross, Bala Cynwyd, email@example.com
A critical failure to admit mistakes
In an interview on a Washington TV station about his responses to the parents of slain Army Capt. Humayun Khan, Donald Trump said, "I don't regret anything."
In this simple statement, he encapsulated one powerful reason that it would be unwise to make him the next president. The man's ego is so large, his narcissism so strong, that he is unable to admit a mistake or show remorse. Despite the overwhelming condemnation of so many Americans, including veterans and leaders of his party, he will never back down.
Being steadfast is a good thing, but never being able to know when you are wrong is an incredibly dangerous trait for a commander-in-chief. Once Trump sets sail on a course of action, that's it - consequences be damned. Changing course would be a concession that he made a mistake, and he can't do it.
|Ken Derow, Swarthmore
Tycoons would tell Trump, 'You're fired'
The strong and clear criticisms of Donald Trump by two of the most successful businessmen in the world are among the most important comments made in the presidential campaign thus far.
Warren Buffett pointed out Trump's bankruptcies and asked why he hasn't disclosed his tax returns ("Buffett pledges he'll give voters a ride to the polls," Tuesday). Michael Bloomberg noted at the Democratic National Convention that as a New Yorker, "I know a con when I see one" ("He's with her," July 25). They both are supporting Hillary Clinton.
Trump's business success has been noted as one reason he would make a good president. Putting aside the enormous differences between running even the largest of companies and being president of the United States, the criticism by Buffett and Bloomberg - who certainly know what it takes to be successful in business - should count heavily for anyone who would support Trump on the basis of his business acumen.
|Marc Inver, Lafayette Hill