Readers write: Security for Trump, role of seniors

Letters to the editor for the Feb. 13, 2017 weekly magazine.

Melanie Stetson Freeman
People enjoy an outdoor cafe near the market on a Saturday morning, on April 9, 2016 in Athens, Greece.

Security for Trump

Regarding the Dec. 20 article “Trump could set new precedent with private security force” (CSMonitor.com): I lived in Argentina during the “dirty war,” a time in which military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla “disappeared” 30,000 Argentines who opposed him. Men and women of all ages were taken away, interrogated, tortured, and shot. (In Buenos Aires, we heard the soldiers shooting people against a wall at night. We kept the apartment lights off.) 

How was this accomplished? 

Mr. Videla operated through secret police who mingled among people as they conversed. Often, these were people you knew. They listened to conversations, took down names, and later, those people simply vanished. 

What I see now is disturbingly familiar. President Trump has a “security force” of his own. They’ve been observed to circulate among demonstrators, taking note of who is protesting. 

Mr. Trump’s propensity for keeping a list of his detractors is well known, as are his famous Twitter rants against those who criticize him, from the cast of the Broadway musical “Hamilton” to The New York Times to Vanity Fair after the magazine published a bad review of his restaurant. 

How far will Trump go? Do we want to find out?

Erica Verrillo

Whately, Mass.

Role of seniors

A few benefits of an aging population were overlooked in the Jan. 2 & 9 cover story, “Where seniors count.” Seniors have wisdom, are less apt to swallow the hype for war, and are more tolerant of other cultures. 

As societies age, we can hope that we seniors will say no to more war, no to the astronomical costs of supporting the government and its lobbyist friends, and yes to helping educate our youth, fixing the infrastructure, and making life healthier and happier for seniors.

Ray Ruthenberg

Shoreview, Minn.

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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.