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Reader Opinion: Promises should be kept

Words matter. Words are the dominant way humans communicate. American history and ethics teach us that the "word" of any of us, including our leaders, should be "good," a personal commitment of truth from and to each of us. Promises are words of ...

Words matter.

Words are the dominant way humans communicate. American history and ethics teach us that the "word" of any of us, including our leaders, should be "good," a personal commitment of truth from and to each of us. Promises are words of the heart.

When President Trump does not "keep his word" he breaks his fundamental promise to the people who govern him, renders worthless the value of words, promotes widening circles of distrust, models harmful behaviors and thoughts for each of us, including our youth, encourages abhorrent expressions, deeply undermines relationships and the civility which should define our society, and causes "truth" to be a perversion. Communication fails.

Except for personal expedience, words matter not to President Trump: A promise given yesterday, among other broken promises, to produce no longer under audit income tax returns, spoken to avoid electoral consequences pre-election, but ignored post-election as to all returns free of audit, has greater meaning today as we learn of attacks on democracy from Russia, including attempts at subversive use of the president's closest advisers.

When investigative nooses tighten, the evidentiary value of the president's tax returns increase: Tax returns tell much about a taxpayer's relationships to sources of income, partnerships and commitments to others which can provide critical information concerning the personally driven interests of a president fixated on ego and personal branding.

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The people are entitled to a president whose word is good: As promised to the people, at a minimum President Trump should, now, release all tax returns not under audit and should do more, as all recent presidents have. The president of a democracy also should refrain from using words history clearly teaches are those of non-constitutional autocrats who not only "disrupt" societies, but who destroy them.

Truth, please, Mr. President.

John Erickson

Brainerd

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