What would Harry Truman do?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     Right after FDR passed, Harry Truman, then Vice President and now President of the United States, at the time had to decide whether to use the first nuclear bombs. He was a Midwest guy – some might say a “deplorable,” others might say he was “exceedingly common.” Yet, he had to decide whether one million soldiers (GIs) should die invading Japan or an unknown number of Japanese would die without invading.

     To him, I suspect, it was an easy decision, though there was nothing easy about it. Why? Because of his upbringing. He knew if you put your hand in or near the fire in the Midwest, you get burned. He did not have to place his hand there more than once before he got the gist. There were no “buts” and “international consideration” and “world consideration” and “trade consideration.” It was simple. If you placed yourself next to fire, you got burned. That was it. Simple. Just don’t do it.

     Yet, here we are. China has introduced plagues on our country at least four times in the past 20 years. The first three cost us billions of dollars and thousands of lives. The last one (COVID-19) cost us $3 trillion so far and soon to be 250,000 deaths (two-year total). How many times do we have to get burned by China before we get the gist of it? If you get close to the China, you get burned. There are no ifs, no buts, and no other considerations – if you are from the Midwest. (Perhaps not if you are a coastal creature.)

     I believe Harry Truman, if he were still alive, after thoughtful consideration, would do the following:

     • Disconnect from the fire source. No more trade with China.

     • No flights to the U.S. from China. No flights to China from the U.S.

     • No students to the U.S. from China.

     • No Chinese companies allowed on the Stock Exchange. No deductibility for losses from Chinese companies on U.S. taxes.

     • No VISAs to or from China. Period.

     • Extensive testing and quarantine for two weeks for anyone (U.S. citizen) or other who visits China and then wants to enter here, after their visit to Canada or anywhere else. If you go there, you quarantine here.

     • Getting grants or money from China would be a felony and jail time, mandatory six months to five years. Extreme, perhaps. Harry Truman would say it’s just common sense. Don’t put your hand in the fire, or anywhere near it when you don’t have to. We don’t have to. What is the upside? Only another burned hand? (Another pandemic.)

     Harry Truman, I suspect, would make it so. Harry, we need your Midwest common sense. Let’s back away from the fire now! We don’t need China and it’s as plain as the nose on your face. They are trying to burn us down intentionally or otherwise. No other consideration needed… Unless of course you want to die when the next pandemic comes in a year or two.

Stephen Intlekofer

A native Midwesterner (Iowa)

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