John Balentine says “…Trump fittingly invoked a wartime analogy.” (“Rise from your foxholes, teachers,” Aug. 13) Secretary of Defense Mattis asserted that defunded State Department diplomacy would mean he’d need more ammo, his way of urging peace as preferable to war. But let’s employ Balentine’s war metaphor.

How’s that Commander-in-Chief doing?  In eight months, American deaths are three times that of Vietnam’s 10 years.  Barely a word to the sick and grieving.  Hardly a tweet.  I won’t belabor Trump’s incredible incompetence.  Five minutes of Gov. Cuomo demonstrates leadership under life and death conditions.

Is the purpose of “war” to kill as many as possible? Wondering where Balentine is going with this “foxhole” nonsense.  As to essential workers, the best of us, Republicans and Democrats, are masked and keep distance, knowing this supports “the war against an invisible enemy.”

But schools are not supermarkets and pharmacies, where spacing options and greater maturity obtain. Classes and halls will be crowded, masks impossible to enforce, little space for teachers when others occupy shared classrooms.  Conditions for transmission are exponentially higher than in grocery stores.

Balentine tells teachers to leave their “foxholes” to enter the literal trenches for a few feet of ground. What’s the rush?  The kids will be professors a year later.  We need to minimize the casualties of “war,” but union-bashing and teacher-shaming are the real core of Balentine’s rhetoric.  Shame on him for politicizing the “war” on COVID.

My parents, anti-Nazi resistors from Europe, knew better than to use war analogies for the postwar crises they faced.  Why do those who’ve never tasted war’s poison cheerily promote a war mentality?

Anna Wrobel