Opinion | Is Wishing Trump Ill a Moral Transgression?

More from our inbox:

To the Editor:

Re “No Joy in the President’s Illness,” by Sasha Mudd (Op-Ed, Oct. 10):

Dr. Mudd writes that wishing death or suffering on President Trump is inherently wrong and that we should be concerned about the hateful wishes of many toward him.

As a psychoanalyst, I don’t believe that a personal goal should be excising “wrong” thoughts or feelings and replacing them with “right” ones. That is opposed to the vital human need to have an internal world that is free, creative and complex. I have worked with many people who police their thoughts and are severely inhibited by the repression it requires.

I am certainly not advocating for people to dispense with morality. But I do deem a free and open mind, which may hold aggression and compassion simultaneously, to be the best space for considering the complexities of life and the principles of justice on which we act.

Laura D. Miller

To the Editor:

Sasha Mudd’s Op-Ed was thoughtful and thought-provoking, speaking to concerns I have felt about my own reaction to President Trump’s illness. I must admit that the irony that he may well lose the election because he refused to take Covid-19 seriously gives pleasure to some of us.

Barbara Gold

To the Editor:

I think Sasha Mudd overlooks a basic point. Wishing harm, feeling glee at another’s suffering and even hoping that someone will die are all causally inert. They don’t in themselves hurt anyone. What morality strictly forbids is taking the smallest step, the least action, to hurt another, cause suffering or bring about death. We have to worry about what we do, not what we feel.

William James Earle
New York
The writer is emeritus professor of philosophy at the City University of New York.

Going Solo: Divorce in the Age of Coronavirus

To the Editor:

Re “Considering a Coronavirus Divorce?,” by Kim Brooks (Sunday Review, Oct. 4):

Ms. Brooks describes the joys of solo time after her divorce. While I feel sadness for the circumstances that caused her and her husband to split up, I can relate to the sense of independence and liberation she’s now feeling.

My beloved mate of 42 years, also named Peter, and I have deliberately lived separately since 1984, in our respective apartments two miles apart. Peter and I have long heard that we “have the right idea” about being a happy couple, and although I admit it’s easier to live apart when there are no kids involved, there are intelligent options, as Ms. Brooks points out, even for couples with children.

There will be no coronavirus divorce in our family, since we’ve created a life as a loving couple while each of us enjoys life on our own.

Linda Konner
New York

To the Editor:

As a family and couples clinician, I meet many troubled, very unhappy couples who have conflicts around division of labor, different views of parenting, and stressors around careers, money, older parents or the impact of a major illness. Such individuals often come for help too late when unhappiness has metastasized, or have never sought any help before reaching a decision.

A relationship requires that one change just enough about oneself to have intimacy. Divorce may be the wisest solution to end suffering, and often people do choose better the second time around. But it is wise for couples to devote the same attention that was paid to a wedding or a home renovation to a better conversation with a neutral party before a disruptive dissolution of the heart.

Sue Matorin
New York
The writer is a social worker in the department of psychiatry at Weill Cornell.

To the Editor:

In describing her Covid-era divorce, Kim Brooks writes that when she’s feeling sad, she tells her children “that they now have four adults who love them, a wider circle, something closer to a clan.”

For me, this benefit has extended well beyond childhood. My parents split up almost 30 years ago, and both have now died. Their partners are treasured friends, advisers and parental figures to my husband and me. They are beloved grandparents to our daughter.

For me, they are also enduring connections to and reminders of my parents (as I hope I am to them). My dad’s partner drove my mom to her cancer treatments and sat in the front row at her funeral. In pre-Covid times, my dad’s partner and my stepfather enjoyed regular visits.

Divorce is hard on families in various ways. But Ms. Brooks is correct to take comfort in all that her children have gained.

Emily Gold Boutilier
Amherst, Mass.

Trump’s ‘Socialist’ Dig at Biden

To the Editor:

Re “The President Paints His Rival as a ‘Socialist.’ Many Voters Aren’t Buying It” (news article, Oct. 15):

Donald Trump’s efforts to paint Joe Biden as a socialist are not working because … Mr. Biden is not a socialist.

Harvey M. Berman
White Plains, N.Y.

Source: Read Full Article