Former Vice President Joe Biden has been criticized for being cozy with segregationists in the past. The criticism is unfair. His ability to deal with ornery people is a rare and needed gift.

The last thing we need is a Democratic president who is the ideological mirror image of Donald Trump. If the next president sprays invective and vituperation at conservatives, as President Trump does toward liberals, we shall have gained nothing.

As even Richard Nixon pointed out, a political opponent is not necessarily an enemy, and a political ally is not necessarily a friend. The Union troops at Appomattox who shared their rations with Confederate soldiers were not condoning secession or slavery, but in their untutored simplicity they understood they had to begin rebuilding a nation.

It is not a moral defect that Biden never walked a mile in Kamala Harris' shoes, nor she in his. They are both simply products of different origins.

Frederick W. Nagle, Madison

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