Criticism of Trump is inconsistent

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By Wednesday, May 24 Letters  18 Comments

To the Editor:

Donald Trump has been in office less than six months and already he has been held accountable for stealing food from the poor and elderly, taking money to help disabled students, firing an incompetent F.B.I. director and too many other infractions to keep track of. A lot of progressives want Donald Trump “Fired!”

Yet the same voters seem to give our local, elected politicians a free pass for their failures. The school districts have never been given the 100 percent reimbursement for transportation. Instead of insisting the state repair the bridges and roads which our taxes are supposed to pay for, state Rep. William Smitty Pignatelli wants to pass a law to allow towns to raise the gas tax to do it ourselves while the state keeps our money. The school choice money has stayed the same for over a generation and yet the Beacon Hill gang has given themselves generous raise and benefits. The pipeline is going through the Otis State Forest in spite of 85 percent of Massachusetts elected officials being Democrats and taking money from lobbyists, lawyers, contractors, oil and gas companies. We have lost manufacturing and retail jobs throughout the county, and everyone seems all right with that. Berkshire County is one of the poorest counties in Massachusetts. Yet no outrage at the lifetime politicians for allowing it to happen. Richie Neal has been in office for four decades and has a miserable record and has taken a lot of GE money. Speaking of GE, former Rep. Peter Larkin is a lobbyist for them, and again, no one seems upset. The only green our politicians seem to care about are what is in their war chests unless green companies donate.

Pittsfield has police and sheriffs departments with plenty of new toys yet crime is still a serious problem. No one seems to want to recall Sheriff Bowler. To add insult to injury other than parades and litter pick-up how often does South County see the sheriff? Hardly ever.

Berkshire County has three Registry of Deeds offices; Suffolk County with a population 780,000 has but one and no one questions the waste. Imagine all the school lunches that can be bought by just shutting two offices down?

The list goes on and yet no one is upset at our locally and state elected lawmakers and they are all in office for life, until they get indicted, find a better paying government position or die.

But as long as Trump is in office he’ll be blamed for everything and the Mass. delegation skates and keeps getting elected for failing and taking the citizens’ hard-earned money.

Patrick Fennell

Great Barrington


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18 Comments   Add Comment

  1. RAC says:

    There’s no reason for it. It’s just our policy.

  2. Bob says:

    Sounds like there’s some more blame to go around.

  3. John says:

    The cumulative tax burden continues to increase. Sadly, government has no incentive to become more efficient and work smarter, as in the private sector. And yes, the government certainly hates competition.
    For many years, politicians have made so many promises in order to get reelected, while kicking the responsibility down the road. Social security is the perfect example. The program has been expanded, and in the bit too distant future, the money is gone. It’s a bit easier at the federal level, as their solution to excessive spending is simply print money. States can’t print money, but they sure like to indebt citizens with ever expanding loans and raise taxes….

    A family of 4 owes what, a quarter of a million dollars just at the federal level now, never mind the local and state loans…..

    Americans need to vote in financially responsible government representation, and sooner than later…

  4. Gordon Liddy says:

    How about instead of spewing alternative facts like your friends Kelly and Sean (Richard Neel taking GE money? Berkshire County being the poorest county in Massachusetts is a poor representation of the facts) you get up and actually do something. If you are so upset how about you try running for something. Try being in the shoes of Marianne Young, Richard Neel, or Sheriff Bowler? No, it’s easier for you to sit and just complain and complain.
    You’re comparison is ludicrous and insane. Donald Trump is a threat to democracy and you were stupid enough to believe all of his BS policies, only now seeing that none of it could possibly happen.
    How about instead of dragging this town down with your complaints you actually do something?
    Probably not, that would require work

    1. Steve Farina says:

      LOL, Gordon, are you saying you would vote for Patrick if he ran for office? ….I’m guessing not.
      Perhaps your marginalizing of the facts and opinions he brings forth is what is “dragging this town down”…one might consider his point of view and actually see there is much waste in government that we can change locally.
      As for your comment about the President, he is no more a threat to our democracy than any of the last four Presidents – get your facts straight

    2. Patrick Fennell says:

      You still have your radio show?

    3. John says:

      The Massachusetts democrats have failed the citizens miserably. Look at North Adams. Used to be a thriving town. Sadly, sprague left. What did the democrats do for all the folks who lost their jobs? Nothing to attract industry to get folks back to work. Nope, they created nothing but more government spending programs.
      GE (transformers) left Pittsfield for Canada due to lower costs. Massachusetts Democrats did nothing. So many towns are now drug infestations.
      Paper mills. All but gone. Democrats in action. That’s what they do, create bigger social programs and more dependence on government. Shameful.

  5. Tom says:

    Here’s the difference. A little political corruption has been with us forever. As someone said, if you can’t take their money, and screw ’em, you shouldn’t be in politics. Trump’s entire gang, on the other hand, is totally corrupt and hell bent on plundering for the benefit of their OWN TAX BRACKET. Trump himself is a bungling amateur and causing damage that will take years to repair. If we survive his ‘presidency’.

    1. John says:

      Tom,
      Fortunately we no longer have a lawyer as president. So many of these lawyers expect to legislate success. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, trump has his warts, however we all have them. His policy trajectory is exactly what he country needs. America needs to be competitive. America needs its people to work. America cannot survive with a bloated red tape laden government. Go Trump!

  6. Richard Stanley says:

    So which is the largest physical county in Massachusetts ?
    Hmmmmm…..

    1. Patrick Fennell says:

      Midddlesex County population1.5 million which has two Register of Deeds and two sheriffs in prison.

  7. Sharon says:

    Patrick, when 85% of our elected officials are democrates, what do you expect? While we’re at it, there are bridges out there I hesitate to cross! And at least in Pittsfield you see.police around. I can’t remember the last time I saw a cop in Great Barrington- on foot or in a cruiser. I’ve lived and worked in so cnty 40 years. Perhaps it’s the reason so county’s drug problem is worse than pittsfields.

    1. Steve Farina says:

      Not sure what part of GB you are in, but I see the police in cruisers all over town, and on foot in the center of town, EVERY DAY! As some recent Edge articles have pointed out, they also participate in rescue operations for lost hikers, and run into burning buildings to save residents.
      And, I’d need to see some quantifiable numbers for your claim that So. County has a worse drug problem than Pittsfield. Albeit, any drug problem is bad. We are fortunate to not have gang shootings down here, however….perhaps largely due to the community policing the GBPD utilizes.

  8. George Grumbach says:

    The difference between the dangers of Trump and of local waste and even a little local corruption is in the consequences. Whereas local politics affects some bridges, school budgets and regional employment, the dangers of this President are many magnitudes greater and affect all of America. 23 million losing health insurance, huge tax breaks for the super- rich (including Trump and family), ignoring and even encouraging climate change, denying women essential healthcare, damaging public education, encouraging hateful behavior, running the government with plutocrats (e.g., Mills, Kushner) and nihilists (e.g., Bannon, Miller) and racists(e.g., Sessions), and generally governing not by careful deliberation but by impulsive tweets.

    So the “what-about-them” rhetorical argument comparing local politics with the Trump regime is a nonsensical attempt to scapegoat or minimize the dangers we face from Trump.

    1. John says:

      And if Mr Kim decides to launch one from North Korea, you will thank your lucky stars President Trump is on your side….
      Sadly the previous president was an epic failure, and allowed the north to speed up development and potential deployment of nukes…Trump got handed this mess, which, typical of most democrats, simply kicked the van down the road

      Think big picture

      1. George Grumbach says:

        It is tiresome to read comments from writers too timid to even identify themselves. Usually, as in this case, those comments are so inane that no response is needed. Come out of the closet, John, if you want credibility.

    2. John says:

      George.
      I’m a conservative private person who spent decades in the Berkshires. Too timid to ‘ come out’? That’s funny!
      Gotta think Big Picture George. There is some pretty bad stuff out there…. sadly a terrorist attack killed 22 last week….
      We need a strong government and military to retain the lifestyle we so enjoy in America. For too long Obama running away like a scared rabbit has allowed rogue nations to position more securely.
      Trump is not politically correct always. However unlike his predecessor, he confronts massive issues directly. Sorry it doesn’t always feel good…

  9. Jacob Robbins says:

    Patrick, You and I have not always seen eye to eye on many issues, but I agree with you in SOME respects. I agree with your argument that politics should be happening on the local level and that criticisms and conversations about our future politics should be a non-partisan debate.
    There is no doubt that Democrats have lost the working class and let them down, but I caution putting the blame on just one group. There are many issues that are facing Berkshire County and Great Barrington in particular. Drugs, schools, crumbling infrastructure–these are not problems that are unique to our small town. These are issues that are being hashed out across the country in blue and red areas and if we are going to solve these problems we need to moving for change on a local level as well. The grassroots response to Trump should not just be a push to vote in federal elections, but also a push to vote in state and local elections.
    As a young person, I am deeply concerned about this new administration and some of the ideas, policies, and comments that have come out of the White House. I am not here to argue about specifics: that’s not what you are saying in your letter. My suggestion is that the anger that propelled Trump to the White House be directed in a more productive way on a grassroots local level. That starts with me saying to you that we do not agree on a lot of issues, but I think we both want the same thing: a better community that works for all residents.

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