Readers write: Trump's appeal; children and dogs; the Monitor's purpose

Letters to the editor for the Feb. 1, 2016, weekly magazine

Charles Krupa/AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs autographs for supporters during a campaign stop at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass., on Monday.

Trump’s appeal to voters

Regarding the Jan. 25 cover story, “The Trump effect”: The article’s insightful analysis underplayed the substance and appeal of Donald Trump’s campaign message. It is not an exploitative Trump fantasy that the United States longs for a dynamic chief executive. It is not groundless fear or tea partyism that keeps Mr. Trump rolling, and not only with Republicans. It is a well-documented, publicly felt need for a leader who is perceived as being able to make America exceptional. Effective leadership is as always a matter of perception.
Albert L. Weeks
Sarasota, Fla.

Teach children to love dogs

Regarding the Jan. 11 cover story, “The dog savior”: Saving thousands of the estimated 1.2 million dogs from being euthanized is a remarkable accomplishment. The work by Greg Mahle with his nonprofit rescue road trips as well as those willing to adopt rescue dogs is inspiring. But perhaps a long-term focus should be on helping to change the culture of animal abuse through education. Programs presented to Boys & Girls Clubs, preschools, or churches by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or by those in the South who care deeply for their dogs would help to prevent this inhumane treatment of dogs. To change this culture of ignoring lost, abandoned, neglected, or abused dogs, it is best to start by educating children using inspiring role models such as Mr. Mahle.
Linda Griffiths
Blaine, Wash.

A century of purpose

Regarding the Jan. 18 Monitor’s View “The underreported good news”: I am reminded of the 1960s slogan of General Electric: “Progress is our most important product.” To me, the Monitor’s reporting of progress has always been sown in the fertile soil of worldwide hope and aspiration and is in so many ways spot on in fulfilling its founder’s stated objective, “to bless all mankind.” Thank you, writers and editors, for more than a century of attention to this important purpose.
David McClurkin
Beachwood, Ohio

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.