Alarming statistics about Trump’s supporters: Letters

The aging Trump base

The decision by the GOP leadership to pull a fatally flawed fake healthcare bill at the last minute ties into some other news. A Princeton study, first published in 2015 and recently updated by the Brookings Institute, gives some idea why they were in such a hurry to pass this bill.

The Princeton team found in studies of public statistics that the mortality rate among whites was bad and getting worse. How bad? Worse than populations in five other industrial nations. But the real shocker was that among the segment of the population that was the core of the Trump phenomenon; less-educated and lower-income white Americans, the mortality rate for the first time ever surpassed black Americans’ mortality rate. And the Hispanic rate. And not just by a little. And adding in the rest of white Americans only changed this by a small amount.

Among the population aged 50-54, the death rate was double the five other nations’ if the cause of death was alcohol, drugs or suicide, AKA “death by despair.” While these statistics are alarming and terribly sad, it does suggest that the GOP is trying to pass its repellent policies while it still has a base that will vote for them.

— David Gooler, Pasadena

Music ed struck a chord

With recent news surrounding budget cuts to the Azusa Unified School District, it’s important for me to provide an example of the importance of education, especially in the arts. Just maybe it will resonate and inspire one person. My high school music education program changed me.

I’m a Azusa High alum who grew up in the city.

As most teenage boys are, I was complacent. However, studying under Ms. Marin at AHS sparked something in me. It created a drive that pushed me to earn my bachelor’s from Berklee College of Music and a master’s from NYU. Although the arts may be overlooked, it is vital for the community and the AUSD to understand that the arts can foster growth…

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