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Opinion | Impeachment Hearings: Some Find Hope, Others Turn Away

To the Editor:

Re “House Hearings Roll On, but Many Tune Out” (front page, Nov. 18):

Thank you for reporting on how so many Americans did not bother to listen to the impeachment proceedings last week. It helps to answer a question that was nagging at me all weekend: How on earth could anyone listen to the words of George Kent, William Taylor and Marie Yovanovitch and still not question the ethics and morality of our current president?

Cathy Bernard
New York

To the Editor:

Impeachment has invaded every cell in my body. Physically it has caused rashes and fatigue. Mentally it has left me saddened and anxious, dizzy at times, and desperate for relief. Even Valium could not overcome impeachment’s toxicity. Even when conversations never touch impeachment, it remains the elephant in the room.

So the monster has triumphed. Au revoir to cable news. Sayonara to talk radio. Farewell to the written media. Hello to ESPN, western movies, “Say Yes to the Dress.” You are my haven now. For the sake of all Americans, censure the guy and move on.

Howard Quinn
Bronx

To the Editor:

We Americans had the opportunity last week to hear from three stellar Foreign Service professionals. Their love for this country is unquestionable, and the dignity with which they serve us is admirable.

Anyone who has become dispirited by the stark, in-your-face corruption and degradation visited upon us by President Trump and his stable of sycophants would do themselves some good to find and watch videos of the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, my hero, as well as George Kent and Bill Taylor. They remind me that droves of people of good character and integrity still exist within the realms of government. They give me hope.

Any American who is turning his or her attention elsewhere is missing an opportunity to see our democracy in action. May it prevail.

Leslie Hoffman
Granby, Mass.

To the Editor:

Re “Honesty Is the Best Foreign Policy,” by Elizabeth Drew (Sunday Review, Nov. 17):

During Watergate, as now, a select group of people stood up for what they saw as right. However, let us also remember that Watergate was largely ignored by the public until the investigation really heated up. When there was actual testimony that the president had, indeed, conspired to cover up wrongdoing in his own administration, people woke up.

Right now, the sad fact is that much of the general public doesn’t care. Either they have other issues that are important for them, they don’t read much and are ignorant of the issues involved, or they are with President Trump through thick and thin. Whatever the reason, let us hope that they wake up. I do believe that our democracy will survive because of honest people like those Ms. Drew describes.

To the Editor:

Re “‘Democracy Doesn’t Come in a Box’” (Video Op-Ed, nytimes.com, Nov. 11):

It’s true that democracy does not come in a box, but it also does not happen overnight.

There is no doubt that the United States and coalition military and civilian efforts in Afghanistan have been difficult and at times ineffective or even counterproductive. But it is equally true that over the duration of the war these efforts have also produced positive results and led to significant improvements in the Afghan people’s quality of life.

A hasty and poorly planned exit from Afghanistan will have negative effects on both the United States’ national security and the Afghan people’s welfare. It would be very unfortunate if this administration repeated the mistakes of the last administration when it hastily left Iraq.

There is no need to abandon those Afghans who have courageously fought alongside us and to give ISIS the gift of a new safe haven.

The United States must maintain an adequate level of support to Afghanistan and not throw away the gains and sacrifices of the last 18 years.

Mark Kustra
Vienna, Va.
The writer is a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan and a member of the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People.

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