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The Trump tide

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Re GOP Scrambles To Stop Trump Juggernaut (March 3): If the monster has lurched to life and is now terrorizing the entire village, its creators have only themselves to blame. It's not Donald Trump who is at fault, but those who stitched him together from the Republican Party's common currency of prejudice, fear and intolerance. I find Paul Ryan's anti-Trump declaration that the Republican Party "does not prey on people's prejudices" a bit rich.

Spyro Rondos, Beaconsfield, Que.

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We seem to forget that Donald Trump is a business person, not a politician who respects the niceties of political behaviour. In his speeches, I hear the rhetoric of a business person who is catering to the disappearance of middle-class America.

Murray Katzman, Toronto

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Donald Trump's success is not so mysterious. But it is worrying. A perfect example of one of the key factors leading to his rise is found in a letter suggesting Mr. Trump has the power to make many people nervous and for "that reason alone" we should have more people like him in politics (Trump's Triumphs – March 3).

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This sort of claim strikes me as the result of a kind of superficial engagement with politics that is symptomatic of our age. The question is not whether Mr. Trump makes people nervous, but why he makes them nervous.

Focusing on that trait in abstraction is dangerous. Someone who fudges his answers when asked about the support of white supremacists should make people nervous, and for good reason, and that is just one of many examples of his disturbing statements.

It's fine to want something different, but that doesn't mean one should be blind to the nature of the alternative one is getting.

Sascha Maicher, Ottawa

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The obstructionist party of "no," which has been telling Americans they have every right to be angry and dissatisfied because everything has been going so badly for them for the past seven years, now has to try to convince conservative supporters things are not bad enough for them to choose Donald Trump as the GOP presidential candidate. The GOP should never have let Tea Partiers and their ilk get a foothold and drive out moderates.

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Bill Bousada, Carleton Place, Ont.

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Fat shaming

Re You Can't Fight Obesity Without Tackling Fat Shaming (March 3): My beloved 44-year-old son, Andrew, died in 2013. His final cause of death was alcohol poisoning but the actual reason was far more complex. One of the root causes was that he was morbidly obese, about 400 pounds. Did he like being like this? Of course not.

He was in tremendous pain from his knees; he constantly had to endure strangers making rude and thoughtless comments.

Once, a man followed him down Yonge Street, yelling obscenities at him; people who would not dream of saying "get up and walk" to a person in a wheelchair would think nothing of telling him in an elevator that he should lose weight. He was extremely sensitive and these comments hurt deeply. He had been battling weight problems and deep depressions since childhood. Nothing, not even his academic and other accolades, got through to him that he was a good person.

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Andrew's death still causes deep pain in my family but if we can help get society to change its attitudes toward obesity, it won't have been completely in vain.

Rosalind Hood-Morris, Waterloo, Ont.

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To do justice

Re Former Justice Department Lawyer Loses Charter Suit (March 3): To clinch his rejection of Edgar Schmidt's Charter suit, Justice Simon Noël asks: "Why would a government declare openly, through a report from the Minister of Justice addressed to the House of Commons, that the bill it is introducing violates the Charter or the Bill of Rights?"

The answer is: "To do justice."

Otherwise, the minister should be renamed as the "Minister of Legalities."

Peter H. Rempel, Winnipeg

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Every day, 10 die

Re Should Right-To-Die Law Apply To Mentally Ill People? (March 1): The Commons committee report suggests that mental illness should not be treated differently from physical illness.

On average, every day 10 people die by suicide in Canada, and there are 100 attempts. We know suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people, and it is growing among seniors.

So clearly our first priority should be to prevent suicide and promote recovery. This can be accomplished by improving access to psychiatrists and community mental health services, and will require more funding to reduce wait times and access to care and peer support.

If Parliament follows the Quebec law, there will be court cases challenging why mental illness is treated differently from physical illness.

If Parliament follows the route recommended by the Commons committee, we should remember all provinces have mental health acts that would put an onus on physicians to determine if the person is experiencing a mental illness, if there are risks to the person's safety and if they are competent to make a request for assisted suicide.

Regardless of the legislative outcome, our focus should be on ensuring access to mental health services and supports that aid recovery and help reduce suicide.

Steve Lurie, executive director, Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto Branch

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Eco-action's price

Re Talking Climate Is Cheap. Action Is Expensive (March 3): True, action is expensive. Action, however, is much cheaper than dealing with the repercussions of inaction.

Mark Bessoudo, Toronto

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Crime against time

Re ICC To Rule On Destruction Of Shrines (March 2): Imagine my delight and awe when, many years ago, I discovered that the mythical, mysterious, exotic, grand city of Timbuktu is in fact a real, mysterious, exotic, grand city!

Timbuktu might be thousands of kilometres away from where I live, but it's still very much a part of my world. Like the destruction of any historic site by short-sighted, violent religious radicals, the destruction of Mali's unique, ancient and intriguing architecture is not only a crime against the local population or followers of a particular faith, it is an unpardonable crime of destruction of our shared human history, achievement and heritage.

Tuula Talvila, Ottawa

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About that gift …

Re What Do You Give The President? (Life & Arts, March 3): I would give the Obamas a paid vacation for two in Timmins, Ont., in mid-February. This would show the President how resilient we Canadians are.

Geoff Smith, Kingston

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