Letters to the Editor

Kick in to boost youth soccer

To the Editor:

I am collecting soccer equipment for the William Trippley Foundation. If you have any gently used soccer gear that you have outgrown or are not using, we can donate it to the William Trippley Foundation.

The William Trippley Foundation runs several programs that benefit at-risk kids living in Chester, including a year-round soccer program for kids ages 3-15. They are in need of cleats, jerseys, shin guards, soccer socks, goalie gloves, and more.

The William Trippley Foundation was started by Will Trippley’s mother and his close friends, after Will, a talented young soccer player, was killed by stray gunfire in Chester in 2004.

You can drop off any gear you might have on my front porch at 116 Cornell Avenue in Swarthmore. from now till November 30. It will be put to good use and be much very appreciated. Thank you.

Devon Maillet
Swarthmore

Anabelle’s Wish heads back to town

To the Editor:

Anabelle’s Wish, a charity that helps families struggling with rare neurological disorders, is now in its 6th year. We have given grants to more than 30 families in more than 20 states, and we feel so proud of our work.

This year, we are happy to announce that we are bringing Shop with Heart back to Swarthmore. We will be part of the Home for the Holidays festivities on Saturday, December 3, where you can find us at the Swarthmore United Methodist Church, 129 Park Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We have 21 crafters, including handmade dog treats, ceramics, watercolor, repurposed vintage jewelry, handmade baby items, woodworking and handmade soaps and lotions. Returning to Swarthmore will be Buttons and Bows (bows and barrettes), Stitch Yourself Silly (embroidery for kids) and A-Leaf purses. In addition, there will be an Usborne book vendor for the kids and a Lularoe consultant to dress you comfy for the winter.

Some of you may also remember the fabulous “regiftables” table. Those are brand new items suitable for gift giving. The regiftables table will be newly stocked for your shopping. You’ll have to come early for toy shopping, as those items disappear first.

Swarthmore, in the past, has welcomed us during the holiday season. We are looking forward to seeing our friends again on December 3. If you have any questions, please contact me at (610) 328-0604 or anabelleswish@gmail.com.

For Anabelle’s Wish,
Stephanie Harper
Swarthmore

‘Echo chamber’ doesn’t ring true

To the Editor:

I resent the condescending stereotype you played into with your front page Editorial last week with the statement, “Swarthmorean readers may conduct their political conversations in an echo chamber.” We are a highly educated electorate who understand the dangers of confirmation bias. I personally turn to Al Jazeera, BBC News, the Guardian, and the New York Times, Washington Post, and Philadelphia Inquirer. Keep in mind, Trump voters were also surprised by his victory because all the polling models failed to adequately express this possibility. That’s hardly the doings of the average Swarthmorean actively avoiding and sticking to liberal sources.

Additionally, the editorial seemed misguided for two other reasons. First, the Swarthmorean covered Democratic happenings more closely for obvious reasons. Leanne Krueger-Braneky is a local, and the Democratic Convention was held in Philadelphia this year, and many locals were involved. Second, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, by as many as 2.2 million at the time I’m writing this. More Americans do prefer her.

You may grapple with your own collusion in this election and your concern over a Trump presidency but, please, in general, stick to the facts.

Sincerely,
Margaret Betz
Swarthmore

What we weren’t wrong about

To the Editor:

In the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the electoral college we are now being treated to a chorus of mea culpas from liberal media and pundits for living in a “liberal bubble” or “echo chamber” that contributed to the Trump’s election. Thus the November 11 editorial on the front page of the Swarthmorean (“We Were Wrong”) proclaims that in accepting the overly optimistic predictions about the likelihood of a Clinton win, the paper (and by implication its readers) were “drowning out the sounds of dissatisfaction expressed by neighbors elsewhere in Delaware County and in Pennsylvania” and thus “participated in the election” of Trump.

This is nonsense – quite apart from the fact that our neighbors in Delaware County did NOT break for Trump (169K voted for Clinton and 107K for Trump) and that the liberal and conservative media alike predicted a Clinton victory. Let’s be clear about what we were and were not wrong about. Going into the election we already knew, and were not wrong about the following:

• Donald Trump is a self-avowed sexual predator who fans the flames of racial resentment and is totally unprepared for the office of President.
• Some Americans were happy to vote for him BECAUSE of his racism and sexism.
• Many Americans were distressed enough by their economic circumstances to vote for him IN SPITE OF his racism and sexism.
• Many Americans were committed enough to having a Republican in the White House that they were willing to vote for him in spite of his racism and sexism.
• Many Americans were willing to vote for a third party candidate in spite of the chances that this would put Trump in the White House.

What we WERE wrong about was how many people in these various constituencies would turn out to vote on Election Day. We were particularly wrong about the turnout among those for whom economic distress and resentment against affluent elites motivated support for Trump. But let’s be clear about what we were NOT wrong about: Donald Trump fans the flames of bigotry and misogyny and has little regard for the institutions of democratic government. The proper response to his election is not hand wringing about our failure to predict how many Americans are distressed enough to vote for him. The proper response is vigilance and activism in defense of the vulnerable communities and democratic institutions that are in peril if Trump manages to deliver in office what he promised on the campaign trail.

Susan Sauvé Meyer
Swarthmore

Listen to other voices

To the Editor:

“The people have spoken; God damn them.” – Mo Udall

Thanks for your editorial, which took a great deal of courage and insight. We are all guilty of living in a cocoon, an echo chamber, whether it be Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, Socialists, etc. This is why we should try and find the time to listen to other voices, such as Delco Patriots (@delcopats) and the Bill Lawrence blog (billlawrenceonline.com) to mention two. Delco Debates, which I am guilty of being involved in, has been an engine of these meetings, from time to time.

What has been interesting to me, is that there are some agreements among the left and the right, sometimes even the far left and the far right. The problem is that many of us have stopped listening to each other because we are convinced of the rightness of our convictions. Swarthmore, to finish, used to have a Republican Party which would present their ideas and convictions. We need to have more inter-party dialogue, even with people we disagree with.

Bob Small
Swarthmore

Truth be told…

To the Editor:

In his letter last week, Dr. John Brodsky mentioned Donald Trump’s false claims made during the Presidential campaign. He neglected to mention, however, the numerous false claims made by Hillary Clinton just about her e-mails.

I also thought it quite unfair to lump Trump supporters with the Germans who endorsed the Third Reich.

Perhaps Dr. Brodsky should study the “psychology of rational analysis and compassion” shown by the protesters who refuse to accept defeat when they lost an election fair and square.

Larry Drew
Hobe Sound, FL

Darkness visible

To the Editor:

I feel a profound darkness has descended since the night of November 8. Poet John Berryman was asked in the early 1970s if he felt it was the obligation of the artist to affirm the human condition. He expressed serious doubts, citing the work of Samuel Beckett: “a mind so dark it’s as though the Renaissance had never happened.” In other words, history has been one continuous dark age. I wish the election had not confirmed this reality.

Allan Irving
Swarthmore

Rakeman

1945 More powerful than a locomotive
Faster than a speeding bullet.
Look !
Up in the sky. It’s a bird !!
It’s a plane !!! It’s SUPERMAN !!!!

2016 More energy efficient than a locomotive
Faster than a leaf blower. Look !
Down on the lawn. It’s a bird !!
It’s a plane !!!
It’s RAKEMAN !!!!

— John Brodsky
Swarthmore

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