I never thought I would have to protect my mental health from the president of the United States, but here we are.
Like half the country four years ago, I was shocked Trump won but was willing to give him a try. That hope quickly faded when his first action as president was implementing a Muslim ban. I have had to compartmentalize my thoughts on issues over the past four years, such as Trump’s policy to separate immigrant children from their parents and put them in cages, because I felt so helpless and powerless to do anything. His latest accusation that doctors and nurses are inflating COVID-19 deaths for profit makes me recoil.
I found myself holding my breath and grinding my teeth, to where I have broken a couple of teeth from the stress. I have tried mindful meditation, deep breathing exercises, reading fiction and limiting my news intake, but that has not worked. Experts suggested volunteering would help, so I volunteered as a research assistant for a Democratic candidate during the primaries and continue to volunteer with various Senate campaigns throughout the country by text banking.
As I finished my final text-banking assignment before the Nov. 3 election, fielding the common verbal abuse and death threats from Trump supporters, I pray that this slow-moving, four-year car wreck of an administration will be finally over and America can heal and move forward.
Nancy McHugh, Plainfield
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What the Constitution says
We hear all this talk that Trump will stay in office because he has decided that the election results are unclear, fraudulent, inconclusive, whatever — pick your reason. But that assumes he can simply remain in office for those reasons or any other.
The Constitution says otherwise in Section 1 of the 20th Amendment, ratified in 1933; it states: “The terms of the president and the vice president shall end at noon on the 20th day of January.” In other words, the term won in the 2016 election ends at noon on January 20, 2021. There is no equivocation, no ifs, buts, or even an unless — simply that the Trump-Pence term is over if they lose.
So, if for whatever reason there is not an elected president and vice president at 12:01 P.M. on Jan. 20, 2021, then the office falls to the next in line as prescribed by the Presidential Succession Act (see Article II, Clause 6), which is the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Nicholas Aharon Boggioni, Lincoln Square
Paying homage to teachers
What teachers taught us all cannot be found in a textbook.
I wear a lot of hats; mother, project manager, village trustee. One hat that never fits quite right is an ad hoc teacher.
When the world shut down in March, my children came home with concerns, but they also came home with hope. The youngest, Myra, who is 8, said with confidence, “My teacher said we will all be fine.”
The way our teachers have adapted their roles to meet the needs of our children is one of the marvels of the pandemic. When we discuss budgets, or what education curricula should include, we can no longer ignore the intangibles of what our teachers bring to their students, and all of us: Exceptional strength.
The strength that helped my eldest through summer, with a drive-by awards ceremony staged by her favorite teachers who went the extra mile to make sure their kids felt supported and loved.
Teachers have done what they do best: dedicate themselves to the growth of our children.
I asked Myra recently whom she misses most at school. I was fully expecting the name of a lifelong friend, but wasn’t at all surprised when she said, “Ms. Murphy.”
To all teachers, thank you. You have taught all of us, not just the young minds, what a community is and should always be.
Sara Sadat, Lisle