To the writer of the “Biden is doing what he promised” letter to the editor in the October 20 edition, I do believe your letter was about our conversations as to why I voted for the Democrat in the last election. Yes, I’m still good with that choice although I would’ve preferred a more progressive candidate. Liz Warren or Bernie Sanders could’ve better stood their ground and made the case for the wealthy paying their share in taxes, a health system that everyone has access to and an education system that doesn’t put people who seek post secondary education and training into decades of debt.

I am hoping that President Biden can make the case for the country joining the rest of the first world nations in providing access to universal healthcare, good cheap internet access—even for rural communities—rebuilding our aging infrastructure and taking action on climate change. Climate change is and will be a driver of world migration and insecurity. These forces are in motion. Does if make sense to continue to put off action to maintain the hospitality of the planet for us and our children’s children? Who benefits from such denial? The COVID virus might’ve brought the country together to act in support of one another, but it’s become yet another divisive factor. Interesting.

I was interested in attempting to have a conversation with you as a sort of experiment to see if we could carry on a conversation without falling into contrived positions or insults. I thought we didn’t achieve that goal, not because either of us failed to sway the other, which wasn’t my intent, but because the conversation didn’t move off of preconceived notions of good guys, bad guys, my opinion, your opinion. In other words, I don’t think it actually achieved the status of a conversation, where each listens to the other to understand, but remained a few back and forth monologues, serving no real purpose except reinforcement of what was already thought or believed. And that doesn’t do what we need to move past the entrenched illusions of who we think the other is.

—Miriam Marcus,