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A nation divided: Schisms in America reach far deeper than just Republican and Democrat. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
A nation divided: Schisms in America reach far deeper than just Republican and Democrat. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

WHAT READERS THINK

Oct. 1: A nation at war with itself. Plus other letters to the editor Add to ...

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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A nation at war with itself

Re America’s Choice (Folio, Sept. 30): The Clinton and Trump campaigns provide clear evidence that too few Americans are ready, willing or able to abandon the uncompromising ideological and social divisiveness that has become so common to their society. No matter which candidate becomes the next president, it seems unlikely that any efforts by the next administration to reconcile differences or develop conditions that would lead to compromise and collaboration will ever gain any real traction.

Given the wealth of creative minds and strong entrepreneurial capabilities that infuse the American culture, it is disturbing to watch the nation insist on being at war with itself, rather than devoting its energy and capabilities toward being the truly enlightened society that it has the capacity to become.

Ray Arnold, Richmond, B.C.

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Re G20 Leaders Privately Share Economic Fears About Trump (Sept. 28): G20 leaders should worry about the potential economic impact of a Trump presidency. It is increasingly clear that global trade deals were designed for the big corporate money driving them, and that they are leaving others, including many of our youth, behind.

Thoughtful, engaged participation in a modern, liberal democracy demands a meaningful stake within and ownership of that democracy. The simultaneous rise of inequality, plutocratic power and corporate globalization is no coincidence.

Donald Trump, his buffoonery and cartoonishness aside, has tapped into a very real political, social and economic malaise, especially as it applies to young people. Our youth need jobs, meaningful jobs that enfranchise them and provide the benefits of what used to be a stable, rewarding lifestyle.

Not everyone can write code, work in Silicon Valley, or swap thoughts with Elon Musk. Without meaningful, dignified work, and policies that promote the inclusion, participation, and success of young people as significant contributors to their society and world, we jeopardize our future and imperil our children.

Donald Trump may not be the second coming of Bertrand Russell or Winston Churchill, but maybe, here, he’s really on to something … and perhaps we should give a listen.

Henry Bokor, Burlington, Ont.

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We pay, they spend

I understand that some Canadians may not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions, whether by pills or any other means (It’s Complicated – letters, Sept. 29). I personally do not want to pay for entitled people in politics to move from city to city. Unfortunately, we do not choose where our tax dollars go (Relocation Firm Changes Story, Says Receipts Not Always Required – Sept. 29).

Victoria Avram, Ancaster, Ont.

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Waiting, waiting for housing

Re Health Ministers Spar Over Accord (Sept. 30): If there is continued delay and no agreement on targeting health transfers to mental health, provinces will be unable to implement their mental health plans and will continue to deny people living with mental illness access to supportive housing and other services.

We understand that Ontario is supporting targeting funding for mental health. A recent report prepared for the Ministry of Health shows there is an annual $1.5-billion shortfall of mental-health funding based on disease burden. That means long waits to access services and an unmet housing need for at least 30,000 people living with mental-health and addiction problems. We can’t afford to wait another year to improve access to mental health services.

Steve Lurie, executive director, CMHA Toronto

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Re New Airbnb Rules: Vancouver Continues Assault On Private Property (Sept. 29): Vancouver’s affordability and rental crisis is impacting people of all incomes and neighbourhoods. In this crisis – our vacancy rate has been near-zero for years, average rent is Canada’s highest (double Toronto’s) and average house price has topped $1.4 million – it’s government’s responsibility to ensure the best use of all our housing, ensuring housing is first and foremost for homes, not business activity.

The empty homes tax should unlock thousands of investment properties sitting empty year round that could be homes for families. Legalizing and regulating short-term rentals like Airbnb offers the best of both worlds: a balanced approach that protects long-term rental supply while allowing short-term rentals in principal residences – an important way for some people to supplement their income.

Many Vancouverites have long given up on the dream of home ownership. We owe it to residents to protect existing rental and affordable housing, while aggressively creating more rental supply to keep our economy healthy and our city livable for all.

Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver

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Power politics, unplugged

Re Ontario Liberals Put Brakes On Renewable-Energy Projects (Report on Business, Sept. 28): The biggest underreported story in the media is the destruction of rural Ontario – its economies, heritage, landscapes, endangered species and vast migrating avian flows – by an undemocratic Green Energy Act. No big wind or solar will ever be built in urban Ontario. Meanwhile, excess power is sold daily to New York and Michigan at a loss, Ontario has the largest sub-sovereign debt on the planet and so-called green energy costs are loaded onto our monstrous hydro bills and taxes. Rural Ontarians are raising substantial funds to fight these industrial intrusions. A story begging to be more widely told!

Garth Manning, Wellington, Ont.

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