All in this together

I would like to applaud Jeff Moore for his letter in the Jan. 28 edition of the Times. His appeal for a return to civil discourse is appreciated.

We live in a diverse democracy. That means not only that no act of the government, local to national, will be welcomed by everyone but that “perfect” legislation will not completely satisfy anyone. That is our social contract. I have been deeply shaken by the fact that a very large minority of my fellow citizens do not approve of that contract. We saw the most extreme elements of that minority invade the Capitol, disrupt the important work of the U.S. Congress and kill at least one police officer.

There needs to be consequences. Moving past that, however, I call out to all Americans to face the fact that we must choose to live together in a complex social web in which we graciously accept failure as well as success. We must give our neighbors the benefit of the doubt as to their motives unless they give concrete evidence of treason, venality and cruelty such as what we recently saw. We are all in this together.

Conrad Foley

Chagrin Falls

Paying it forward

As frowned upon as it may be in society today, I want to be a politician. I cannot see any more a fulfilling career nor purpose in my life than serving great constituents of this community.

It’s rather exciting to be in my shoes as a 16-year-old high school junior at Kenston. Within the reality of American politics today, I see a true opportunity to become a young leader and difference maker, representing this community with unwavering care. I may not agree with what everyone in this community believes, but it will be my duty to listen and engage in true, meaningful conversation, starting and ending with a handshake and full eye contact. This discussion is what builds support and good policy. 

I do not know every issue, nor every knot in the system, but politics is a learning experience in which a representative grows with their constituents as they grow with experience. Although only 16 and inexperienced politically, I have done my research and I know basic issues of the community:

• Taxes

• Fiscally responsible government 

• Public schools facing standardized tests and state mandates

• Preservation of parks, natural beauty and charm within the community

• Campaign finance transparency

• Ease of access to all government information and statistics, including broadcasting meetings and the use of social media

• Service departments that operate efficiently

• Law enforcement, EMS and firefighters who are well funded and care for our veterans

• Infrastructure to support fast and reliable internet for all residents

There are, of course, many other issues, but these are some of the most important.

The best way to make an impact in the community is through involvement, and as someone who wishes to become involved heavily, I expect to run surveys, attend meetings and go door to door to have conversations and ask questions.

This may sound like just a personal promotion, and in a sense it is, but it is also a view of the future where my generation of leaders, not yet experienced or proven, but the most motivated ever, bring real results to the community. We will be listeners and helpers, but more importantly, critics to what is voiced to us, creating discussion and compromise. This will involve the residents as well, who I hope will do their respectful part to move policy along. 

It is my hope soon to serve in the Ohio House of Representatives; an esteemed office which I see as meaningful in bringing promise and results from the state level. I am young, but confident and motivated; I would not be writing this if I did not want to introduce myself as a practical idealist, expressing my views on the future and making a push for change. The way I see life is that anything is possible with effort, and with effort from this community, we can truly breed new politics for a lifetime, or forever.

If you have any questions about my thoughts, views or dreams, please email me at

Max Yost


Adhere to process, law and order

“The Republic is not lost,” I’ve heard it said.

Yet, I wonder.

Americans are branded traitors for their beliefs.

Law-abiding citizens are marginalized.

Law enforcement is denounced.

Fear drives decision-making.

Intolerance is rationalized as “justice”.

Discourse is replaced with violence.

Freedom of expression is curtailed.

Dissenting opinion is punished.

Equality of outcomes, not opportunity, is demanded.

“Obedience” is a condition for “unity.”

 “If men were angels, no government would be necessary…the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” (James Madison in Federalist #51).

 Although written in 1788, Mr. Madison sure got it right – people are not angels, and that will never change. Which is why adherence to process, law and order, is so important for all of us. Otherwise there is no protection for any of us against the few who would deprive us of our inalienable God-given rights.

I say beware of all those who so publicly promote what I will call “divisional unity,” for they probably have something to personally gain from it. When the elite political class wins, it is always We, the People, who lose our constitutional republic. 

Benito A. Alvarez

Chester Township

Lock him up

Does the “J” in Donald J. Trump stand for “jerk” or “joke”? Trump is a jerk, in my opinion, and his presidency was a complete joke. It could be both.

Did Trump, Rudy Giuliani, William Barr, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Phil Murphy think that any of the lawsuits regarding the outcome of the November 2020 presidential election would be successful?

Did they think any state or federal judge would overrule duty enacted election laws? They must be high on stupid pills.

Trump put Giuliani in charge of election litigation. What was there to be in charge of?

Numerous cases were denied or dropped in courts.

Trump has a defense fund. If you are thinking about contributions, please call me. I will be happy to sell you a piece of a nice bridge in Brooklyn.

Hopefully, the federal government, by the Department of Justice with a new attorney general, will indict and convict Trump of various crimes. They can join New York in convicting him.

I cannot believe he can pardon himself for crimes let alone pardon himself for crimes to be charged.

He cannot pardon himself for state crimes. If the DOJ does not get him, the state will.

If Trump runs in 2024, he can do so from the comfort of a jail cell.

Lock him up.

Thomas J. Mullen


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