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LETTERS: We haven’t done our best to avoid nuclear war

South Korean protesters hold banners with illustrations of President Donald Trump during a rally to oppose his war rhetoric on North Korea, in front of Yongsan Garrison, a U.S. military base, in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 14. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-Joon)

The answer to Phil Kadner’s piece “If nukes fly, did we do our best?” is NO — we did not do our best, on so many levels.

First, we elected an irresponsible, unfit president on the lark who we wanted to “drain the swamp” and shake things up in Washington. Somehow, during the insulting and adolescent rhetoric of the 2016 campaign, the serious issue of a world-annihilating nuclear war did not come up.

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Next, we elected a GOP House and Senate that are so focused on enacting tax cuts for the rich that they support and enable this president — no matter how outrageous his behavior. I suppose the thinking is that this will never happen — that North Korea will not use nuclear bombs, as they know their country would be destroyed in retaliation.

However, their president is an enigma and Trump’s threats may frighten or taunt him to react emotionally. The result could be a nuclear war. On the bright side, we wouldn’t have to worry about climate change anymore

Carol Kraines, Deerfield

Grow up or get out

While children starve to death in Somalia, families drown in the Mediterranean, climate change devastates the American landscape with flood and drought, and elephants across Africa are murdered so their tusks can be turned to trinkets, the president of the United States is getting a head rush saber-rattling with North Korea’s equally mad dictator. He needs to grow up or get out and let a responsible adult be in charge.

Margaret Frisbie, Hermosa

Secret reader?

Most people don’t give Mr. Trump credit for his intellect, but I think he is a “reader,” if only in secret, so as to not upset the bulk of his followers. I would even venture that he loves Shakespeare, and that his favorite play is Henry the IV, Part II.

In Act IV, Scene 5, the dying King Henry gives some advice to his son, young Prince Hal. It’s advice that Mr. Trump has obviously taken to heart: “Therefore, my Harry,/Be it thy course to busy giddy minds/With foreign quarrels, that action, hence borne out,/May waste the memory of former days.” In other words, as the situation regarding North Korea continues (and even worsens?), the media and the American people pay less attention to Mr. Trump and his problems with Robert Mueller and his investigation. I think that Mr. Trump is playing his part with verve and brio. Further, someone else may also be delighting in the words of the Bard. No, I’m not speaking of Mr. Kim Jong Un, but of Vladimir Putin. While our giddy minds are paying attention to the foreign quarrel being played out between Washington and Pyongyang, we are paying little to no attention to Mr. Putin and anything he might be planning to do in eastern Europe, or elsewhere. And so the curtain falls.

John Vukmirovich, Lemont

Effective reformer

“Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s terms in her office should not be defined by the opponents of the recently enacted tax on sugared drinks. Her reforms in the hospital system, reduction in patronage and increase in service and efficiencies in so many Cook County departments under her supervision have been dramatic, effective and long overdue.

The dual benefits of the new tax in raising revenue and ideally reducing consumption of highly sugared drinks have found vocal and determined naysayers in her political enemies and the producers of the taxed beverages. Revenue raised by this tax will offset other potential tax increases while producing long-term health benefits if given a proper and realistic period to succeed and to overcome administrative difficulties and missteps by vendors in collecting the tax.

Preckwinkle’s tangible, valuable and many faceted efforts and reforms in county government have transformed Cook County’s administration from a backwater of patronage, inefficiencies and wasted spending of tax dollars to a more progressive and successful government in service to its citizens. ”

Fredric Stein, West Loop

Last to defend Trump

Ah, bucolic Charlottesville. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, gateway to Shenandoah National Park, home to the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. You’ve been soiled by white supremacists; the base of Donald Trump’s base. Purveyors of hate. Screeching rebel yellers. Terrorizing banshees. America’s very own ISIS. Really, they suffer from the same mental disorder. When Trump’s presidency is on the chopping block, they’ll be the last to defend him. He is the embodiment of their delusion.

Tony Galati Lemont