Alan Chartock | I, Publius: Taking a swing at the headlines, from hunger to the midterms


Answering the headlines:

Salvadorans fear losing protected status.

If President Trump really tries to send 200,000 Salvadorans and their children back to their country of origin, there could be hell to pay. Try to put yourself in the place of one of these people, terrified of returning to face gang terror, no employment and, in some cases, a death sentence. I think about my Jewish ancestors, some of whom couldn't get into this country or even faced deportation for one reason or another. That's why DACA is so important. This Act protects so many individuals who were children when they arrived here through no fault of their own and who have no way of surviving in a hostile foreign country that they've never seen.

Trump, of course, is playing to the all-important anti-immigrant, know-nothing base that got him elected. Think about all those righteous gentiles who risked their own capture and death, hiding Jewish children when their lives were threatened. How many of us would risk jail to do the same thing? Just asking.


With food insecurity a problem in our county, potential cuts in federal assistance leave advocates anxious.

I know that WAMC, with its vast reach across seven northeastern states, will be doing what it can to help out the food pantries in our region. Hunger is a terrible thing. I don't know how many people reading this have ever truly experienced hunger.

I haven't, but we all know how debilitating such hunger can be, particularly in the case of babies and young children. There are restaurants and co-ops in our area that see to it that extra food is delivered to those who have too little to eat.

So, maybe instead of looking the other way, we who are more fortunate can do something to help a food pantry or a family that that needs a sensitive helping hand. Yes, the government should make sure that no one goes hungry, but assuming that it eschews its responsibility, we'll just have to make it personal.


Trump could be impeached if Democrats gain a majority in the House.

Does a bear walk in the woods? Of course the Democrats will impeach Trump in the House if they gain the majority. They don't even want to talk impeachment until 2018 but you had better believe that as the 2018 congressional elections loom closer, the whole election in Congress will have to be a referendum on the impeachment of Trump.

It will become a litmus test in every race. "Will you vote to impeach Trump?" will be a common question asked of every candidate.

While some may hem and haw as to their intentions, there will be enough hints given by the candidates to sink a battle ship. This move toward impeachment will obviously be made even stronger by further developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation.


Girl Scouts joining fight over bridge named for segregationist.

A key bridge in the state of Georgia is named for segregationist Herman Talmadge. The Girl Scouts want it named after their founder, Juliette Gordon Low. They want the bridge to be named for a healer, not a divider.

Great idea. In New York, my friend Mario Cuomo's name is on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. I loved Mario, but there is something a little out of the ordinary about a son naming a bridge for his father. The name of the bridge will not be changed despite lots of outraged signatures on such a petition.

I am not a fan of putting politician's names on bridges. In fact, every time I see Ed Koch or Hugh Leo Carey's name on a bridge or tunnel, I want to throw up.

If only politicians could do the tough jobs they were elected to do and stop fooling around with naming bridges, we'd all be a lot better off.

Alan Chartock, a Great Barrington resident, is president and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and a professor emeritus of communications at SUNY-Albany. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of The Berkshire Eagle.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions