Don’t vilify people with differing opinions

Regarding the recent letter, “Leftists attacking US as racist must be stopped”:

I read, with surprise and disgust, the writer opining that liberals “promote tearing down American history and instilling chaos and division in the country. It’s time to stand united against these bullies and their agenda to take American down.”

I am a proud liberal. Like most other liberals who promote a progressive agenda, I am a proud American. Neither I nor my fellow progressives ever promote “tearing down American history and instilling chaos and division in the country.” I feel strongly about women’s reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, intelligent gun control, meaningful responses to climate change so as to insure that my grandchildren have a quality life and closing our growing wealth gap. And a repeal of the most recent tax act would have a profound detrimental impact on my personal finances.

My conservative friends believe otherwise — they promote further restrictions on abortion, additional rights for gun owners and less government in the workplace. We profoundly disagree, although I have certainly gained a greater appreciation for their positions through ongoing dialogue. But I have never accused them of promoting tearing down American history or instilling chaos and division in the country. Nor have they accused me of doing so. We are all proud Americans who believe in different pathways for the country and our countrymen.

Unfortunately there will always be those folks among us who need to characterize people with differing opinions as stupid or as traitors. That will never change. This type of venom that can divide us should be minimized by banning it from public discourse.

Steven D. Scherzer

Linwood

Historic preservation failing part of Cape May

In light of Atlantic City’s recently announced historic preservation commission (HPC), I would like to share some recent experiences from people in the Frog Hollow neighborhood in Cape May.

The commission should remember that its mandate involves neighborhoods as well as structures. It needs to do more than protect buildings — it is the ambiance structures create that sustains neighborhoods.

To give a Cape May illustration, the city is in the midst of losing a structure that many in the Frog Hollow neighborhood consider its defining property. This 1900s era home’s development plan was HPC approved with apparently no regard to the overall impact the changes would have on the Frog Hollow community.

We not only are losing a contributing home, we are losing trees, gardens, open space and part of what makes Cape May a National Landmark City. The property was 6 feet shy of being two full lots, but the HPC approved a massive structure that has swallowed-up the old house so that the new structure is practically bursting out of the property lines, quite literally at the exact legal limit of 45%. If they added one more brick, it would be in violation.

The property’s land has been taken over by structural expansion, pavers, swimming pool, driveways and concrete. Trees that dotted the land appear to be doomed with their trunks buried in dirt and scarred by careless workers. The contractor seems to ignore the neighbors’ pleas as well as those from Cape May’s Shade Tree Commission.

While neighborhood members lament the loss of another historic home in Cape May, they fight on to save what is left of open space, trees and historic homes also threatened by reckless development, and an utterly unreliable historic preservation process.

Jack Riehl

Cape May

Dems weak on borders

The Democrat Party has gone completely off the rails, and it’s time for N.J. residents to rethink their longstanding allegiance to that party. They now embrace the madness of open borders. Any working person who commutes daily to a job or tries to get to the shore for a much needed break knows only too well how crowded the roadways are. Do we need even more people clogging them and making daily life miserable due to overcrowding? We cannot balance our budgets as it is, do we need even more illegal aliens taking money for welfare, education, health care and law enforcement, driving down wages and taking American jobs?

Remember 9/11? Five of those terrorists who killed more than 3,000 of our countrymen were here on expired visas, a failure to enforce immigration laws. As a result of failing to enforce our borders, we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, resulting in dead and maimed Americans, as well as a multitude of deaths in those countries. If we had properly enforced our borders in the first place by deporting those with expired visas and properly vetting those who seek entry into the U.S, the 9/11 attacks and the resulting wars, as well as TSA expense and hassle at the airports, would have all been prevented.

Now the Democrats want even more national insecurity by allowing anyone into the country without any meaningful security or even medical checks. This is insanity, an escalation of the errors that caused 9/11 and the opposite of what we need, which is border security and control.

It’s time to stop the kneejerk voting for Democrats by N.J. residents and vote for the Republican Party and President Donald Trump, who recognize the absolute and common sense necessity of protecting our borders.

David McIntosh

Egg Harbor Township

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