Get out the checkbook

Diane Hessan’s “Stop the Madness” (Opinion, Aug. 22) is spot-on for these turbulent times. Deep-pocketed liberal New Englanders would be wise to heed her calls to action. Get out the checkbook; as Hessan writes: “Outrage . . . accomplishes little.”

Having just returned from a car trip to Texas, I was fortunate to drive across half the United States and engage with many fellow citizens. I was enthralled by the staff of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Miss. (thanks to Renée Graham’s July 1 column for alerting readers about the sorrowful vandalism), mesmerized by Glenn Ligon’s “Blue Black” at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, and challenged about fact/fiction of the 1967 Detroit riots at three different Detroit museums.


There’s a world of need in our country, yet there’s also optimism. But it’s high time the “20 percent ruling class” does something more than merely put a protest sign in the yard, or share outrage among like-minded friends. Repeat: Get out the checkbook. Pick your cause. That 1968 adage is even more important today: “You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.”

Jay Reeg

The morality of economics

Thank you Diane Hessan for your continuing conversation with 200 Trump and Clinton voters since the election. Too few of us know and interface with folks on the other side of the current American divide.

But in your latest article (“Stop the Madness,” Opinion, Aug. 22), you reveal a dangerous aspect of Trumpism — the overt and unapologetic separation of ethics from economic activity: “Rather than looking to their leader for moral leadership, they look to him for leadership on growing the economy.”

Our economy began with stolen land and slave labor. The morality of these economic facts were largely accepted and often glorified. Over time, other economic facts and the ideal of common humanity ended slavery. The moral basis of our origin story was never really challenged, especially by those who were neither Native American nor descendents of slaves.


The separation of ethical standards from economic life is the denial of that common humanity. Trumpism is a symptom of that denial and a clear statement that we are NOT all in this together. That is the real madness.

David J. Weinstein
Jamaica Plain

We need a leader who inspires us to be out better selves

How interesting to see Diane Hessan’s “Stop The Madness” opposite Michael D’Antonio’s “Trump’s Lazy Habits of Heart, Mind.” The so-called madness won’t stop while one half of the country thinks Trump is destructive of the nation’s atmosphere while the other half thinks it’s just
Donald-being-Donald and doesn’t matter.

We need a leader who inspires us to be our better selves, not one who thrives on tearing people down; one who encourages us to come together and bridge our differences to develop and work toward a common vision and common good, not one who seems to thrive on divisiveness.

I find Hessan’s research interesting and useful background, but we need more than simply a reporting of our divisions. And sending a check to the ACLU or SPLC isn’t going to make up for the damage Trump is doing to this great country’s future.

Ed Gray