America has gotten through tough times before

We weathered it all, and earlier presidents helped pull us through. Hey, I think I’ve found our problem now.

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President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a meeting at the White House.

President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a meeting at the White House.

Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Phil Kadner makes a valid point in his Feb. 12 column, “An old codger ponders the fate of America in the time of Trump,” writing, “No telling how that (Cuban Missile Crisis) messed with their little minds…”

He was talking about people like me, a then very unworldly fifth-grader listening as a newsman grimly announced, “The world listens and waits” from the classroom radio. Even our teacher looked scared.

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Like Kadner, I’ve had my own “codger-in-the-mirror” moments since 1962: the Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. assassinations, Chicago’s 1968 Democratic convention, Vietnam, the Iranian hostage crisis and the rise of terrorism. We weathered it all, but something almost died along the way: coalition-building.

I can, with a straight face, recite these names in the same sentence: Lyndon Johnson and Everett Dirksen; Ronald Reagan and Thomas “Tip” O’Neill; Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and Alabama Gov. George Wallace. That’s not a misprint. Segregationist Wallace helped Chisholm pass a domestic workers’ minimum wage bill — in the racially charged 1960s, no less.

Presidents rhetorically try to pull us through. There’s George H.W. Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light,” Reagan’s “Morning in America,” Obama’s “Audacity of Hope” and President Donald Trump’s “He’s (Sen. John McCain) not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Hey, I think I found our problem.

Jim Newton, Itasca

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A reasoned endorsement of Foxx

The critics of the Sun-Times endorsement of Kim Foxx to be re-elected Cook County State’s Attorney exhibit a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. Her ground-breaking criminal justice accomplishments are many and significant. They vastly outweigh her mishandling of the Jussie Smollett case.

Clearly, her critics either have no idea of the progress Foxx has made fixing the county’s dysfunctional criminal justice system, or they don’t care. They are entitled to criticize her over the Smollett case and vote for a challenger if they reside in Cook County. But blasting the Sun-Times for a fact-based, reasoned endorsement does not reflect well on them being interested, knowledgeable voters.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn

Trump rages against decent public servants

President Tweeter can’t wait to commute whatever sentence his pal Roger Stone receives.He declares that the suggested sentence is too harsh and rages at the four Justice Department prosecutors (who have since removed themselves from the case), saying they should go back to school.

Who does he think he’s defaming?These are honest, professional, dedicated public servants, doing what they’ve been trained to do.

Stone was convicted of messing with the 2016 election, lying to the FBI and interfering in itsinvestigation.Short of armed revolution, nothing is more detrimental to our representative democratic government than trying to manipulate a presidential election.

Dan McGuire,Bensenville

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