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Re “Where politics is too divisive for words” (Page A1, Oct. 6): I’ve lived in Bellingham for 40 years, and Jenna Russell’s impression of the town, while accurate, somewhat misses the point about suburban malaise in an unremarkable community — one with a mediocre school system and a trash and litter problem the town seems incapable of solving. Retiree Patrick Pisani’s frustration with government seems valid at first, but the size of the federal government has little impact on towns like Bellingham, which are struggling with problems such as toxic drinking water and an inundation of traffic. I suppose it feels good to praise Donald Trump’s Prince Charming to Bellingham’s Cinderella. Yet like all fairy tales, it isn’t relevant or real.

Republican voters have a well-known capacity to vote against their own interests in working-class/middle-class communities, and this plays out like a vengeance here. For example, a shrinking tax base could have been halted by allowing cannabis to be sold here, but that was turned down last year by an aging electorate that can’t seem to come to terms with a host of local problems that no president, let alone Trump, is interested in solving.

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Bellingham is trying, I suppose, such as by devoting some resources to a lovely little green space in the northern town center. But discreet discussions of who is in the White House and which presidential candidate is less corrupt than the other are a distraction.

Peter Wise

Bellingham