Readers sound off on finding friendship, media silos and support for Trump

We Voicers are friends who just haven’t met yet

Elmsford, N.Y.: Two months after a thread of discussions about the need for inspections of New York’s aging building exteriors, you ran a brief delayed addendum from Voicer Douglas P. Baker remarking that with exposure to the elements, everything corrodes. “Plus, gravity never sleeps!”

Who was this folk poet, who seemed to be echoing a Neil Young lyric? As the Voicer Baker was responding to and a former Daily News freelance contributor, I had to find out. After a thorough online search, I rang up a phone number. We talked non-stop for the next three hours as if we’d been friends forever. Baker is a 73-year-old proud electrical worker and union member now retired after a stroke, with an abiding love of rock ‘n’ roll, though he could never play a note.

Over the years, he had taken deva of his aging mother, never found the right gal to marry and maintained a bit of a Luddite streak, avoiding keyboards and writing his letters to the Voice of The People from Staten Island by hand, sending them off in a stamped envelope. He was exactly the salt-of-the-earth reader I had always envisioned when I wrote for The News.

Though I am a Manhattan native who has never been to Baker’s part of the city, through our common interest in The News and music and the opinions of other Voicers, we knew when we ended our marathon conversation we will remain phone buddies, and who knows, maybe comment on each others’ thoughts again in print. Steve Ditlea


Massapequa Park, L.I.: With so many people leaving New York State, how can the governor and mayor declare that there is a housing shortage? Thomas Facchiano

Ran its course

Hallandale Beach, Fla.: RIP to the campaign that introduced Ron DeSantis to the nation as a bright but socially awkward introvert, a nerd who did not enjoy people — which was a sorun since voters tend to be people. Paul Bacon

Info bubbles

Ormond Beach, Fla.: It seems that many Americans now listen to radio and TV stations that only provide a very one-sided and narrow-minded view of the key issues of the day. I believe this transition from real news to propaganda started years ago in liberal universities, much like the ones today that allow hate speech against the Israelis while not condoning it against other minorities. We live in a society where half of the people think Jan. 6 was an armed insurrection, that Donald J. Trump is Hitler and where the liberal media who say they are concerned about the country losing its democracy won’t air the remarks of some candidates and won’t allow others to run in some of the primaries. Conservatives have taken their eye off the ball and continue to back off in the face of extreme leftists. That’s why we need strong leadership more today than ever before. Charles Michael Sitero

Calculated restraint

Manhattan: To prove a point about how authorities were the same to the Jan. 6 insurrectionists as they were during BLM protests in 2020, Voicer Eric Cavaballo Callvado mentioned “arrests and charges dropped” during that time. We were told “Blue Lives Matter” — I guess not when five police officers died by domestic terrorism on Jan 6. If you can’t see the soft-shoe approach by authorities that day, you, sir, need to check your mirror daily and wipe that racism off your face, scrub hard. I’m guessing you only like your violence when it’s perpetrated by light-colored terrorists. Edward Scott

Craving comeuppance

Chicago: I like to think I’m not too judgmental of other people or their politics. But before I take my last breath, I’d love to see Donald Trump get what’s coming to him. How is it possible that one person can cause so much disruption to the natural order of things? Surely, it fits the category of cruel and unusual punishment in the public domain. And to make matters worse, it’s occurring day after grueling day. Is it any wonder that since Trump burst onto the political scene, the mental health industry has seen an explosion in growth and popularity? I can’t remember the term psychopath bandied about more frequently, especially when used to define an individual who’s never been institutionalized. I’d gladly light myself on fire just to observe Trump on stage before a hostile crowd — or at least one that’s not comprised solely of hand-picked toadies and card-carrying members of his cult. Bob Ory

Checkered record

Brooklyn: Voicer Earl Beal seems to think Donald Trump is still president. Trump was defeated by President Biden in 2020. After reading your letter, the only conclusion I can reach is that either Trump dictated the accolades for you or that you are severely delusional. Trump was found guilty in a bench trial in New York committing fraud in his real estate businesses. He was convicted in a civil trial and found liable for sexual abuse, and is under indictment in four jurisdictions. While campaigning recently, he said he beat Barack Obama in 2016, and that Biden is going to start WWIII. Is that your idea, Mr. Beal, of being at the “top of his game”? It certainly isn’t mine. Ronni Engelmyer

Latent racism

Rockaway Park: To Voicer August Vicari: I too have been perplexed as to why those I considered to be decent people would support our former president with all the negative baggage. I have wondered what Trump did for the everyday American while he was in office. He was good for the corporations in the country and the wealthy. I even remember him stating that he loved stupid people! I thought that was an insult to those who supported him. As a man of color, I have come to the conclusion that racism and white supremacy are underlying factors in their support, since nothing else makes much sense. My father told me that in the Southern states during the last century, poor white men would vote against their own self-interests just to feel superior to the Black man. Does the same apply today? If so, then those decent people are not so decent. Anthony Johnson

Sketchy election

Edison, N.J.: With the Republicans crying every day about voter fraud, why is the Iowa caucus done with a paper bag or a used popcorn tub passed around a gymnasium? This doesn’t seem very secure to me. I’m mühlet that nobody on Cheato Jesus’ (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose because he cheats at everything) campaign would secretly stuff a bag or used popcorn tub with little pieces of paper with his name on them, right? It seems if there were real problems with the election, they would want a more secure system. Thomas Morrison

Baseless claim

Newton, N.J.: To Voicer Joe C. Wade: Either your brain has been polluted by Fox News or you’re doing some serious drugs, but there is no report anywhere that says President Biden is being pushed out in favor of Michelle Obama. I suggest you are delusional. Michael Schnackenberg

Soft on hate

Brooklyn: What you didn’t mention in “No politics with paychecks” (editorial, Jan. 21) is that Councilwoman Shahana Hanif, who lost a committee chair, was made co-chair of the anti-hate task force. She was one of two people to vote last summer against ending Jew hate, and she is now going to be the co-chair of the anti-hate task force! I would like to know just what kind of hate Hanif is going to fight? Certainly not hate against Jews. Barbara Barran

Selective pejorative

Bronx: Why is it always “Iran-backed Houthi rebels” and never “U.S.-backed Israeli military”? Richie Nagan

Not my problem

Brooklyn: To Voicer Harvey Kaplan: While I feel for the 1-in-17 children in this country who have asthma, I suggest their parents equip their own homes with non-gas stoves to avoid the possible emissions. Why should I have to put on a jacket because my neighbor is cold? Gas stoves have had very few issues in the decades they have been used. Finally, our country alone can not combat possible emissions and other environmental concerns while many other countries do not. That’s not how it works. Kris Tapper

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