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Thursday Letters: Columnist twists meaning of Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

Columnist MIchael Barone distorted the meaning of John Lennon's song "Imagine," writes a reader. | AP file photo

In a column on Wednesday, Michael Barone argues that voters have become isolationists, which may be true, but he sure did a horrible job making his point. Using a shoehorn, Barone managed to squeeze John Lennon’s song “Imagine” into his argument by implying that there are world leaders who believe we would all be better off without borders. Ridiculous.

Lennon’s “Imagine” is a utopian dream. An idealistic fantasy, meant to support faith in humanity. It was never meant to be a blueprint. And no world leader, at any time in history, has ever advocated the removal of borders. To imply that George W. Bush did by offering a summation of something Bill Clinton may or may not have spoken about is more shoehorning.

Tony Galati, Lemont

When John Lennon composed one of the most beautiful songs ever written, “Imagine”, in 1971, he spoke for a generation of people who were tired of war and hatred. He asked us, dared us, to imagine a world with “No countries. Nothing to kill and die for. Imagine all the people living in peace. And the world will be as one.” He was simply stating what many of us prayed for. A world in which all people got along and cared for one another. Columnist Michael Barone should not twist Lennon’s words to fit a political argument of 2016; I’m fairly certain that if John were alive today he would strongly disagree with that interpretation of his words.

Neil J. Blum, Glenview

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Vote for Johnson sends no “message”

Some Sun-Times readers want to “send a message” to Washington by voting for Gary Johnson. They don’t seem to realize there are really only two people running for president, neither of them named Gary Johnson. If they don’t vote for the better of these two real candidates, their votes may go to the worse. I wonder how proud they will be when the monster Donald Trump becomes our president.

Andy Austin, Hyde Park

Rural American blames wrong people

In a USA Today story in Wednesday’s Sun-Times, a number of people interviewed recalled better days and said they feel Donald Trump deserves a chance. Stores in their community are closing, they said, and they blame the Democrats. In reality, the fact that the people interviewed generally vote Republican has put us in this situation. Republicans established trickle-down economics decades ago. That cut the pay of the working people who supported those stores. Many rural communities vote Republican, yet they forget that when the chips were down it was Farm Aid — funded by many Democrats— that helped these farm families.

Scott R. Zuhr, Park Ridge

Vote for Safe Road Amendment

I just became aware of the confusing wording on a referendum, the Safe Road Amendment, on our Illinois ballot in November. As things stand now, Illinois lawmakers are allowed to raid road taxes, such as the tax on gasoline, for other purposes, including balancing the Illinois budget. Meanwhile, our roads and bridges further deteriorate. Vote “yes” on this proposed amendment. It would make sure taxes paid at the gas pump are put in a “lockbox” and used exclusively for road and bridge repair —as the taxes were intended. Vote “yes” and stop the theft of our taxes.

Bob Pritchard, Homer Glen