Email Letters: November 18, 2016
Conservatism won and faith is renewed in American people
In October, my husband and I traveled through California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. The only Hillary sign we saw was a “Hillary for Prison” billboard. We saw lots of Trump signs, and supportive strangers who saw my Trump sticker stopped us to talk. Even so, we were afraid the big cities and the coasts would outvote us. How great it was to hear the election results and experience a renewed faith in the American people.
This election showed that we’re tired of corruption, cronyism, pay to play, media collusion, and the elite party establishment. We’ve had it with one set of rules for the rich or powerful and another set for the rest of us. We’re tired of losing our jobs, falsified statistics, illegal immigration, Obamacare, and government overreach.
While the Democrats were concentrating on letting boys in the girls’ bathrooms and making sure that gays can marry, Trump concentrated on the issues affecting too many of us: the failing economy, government intrusion, and liberalism gone wild.
In January, we’ll have a Republican Senate, House, and administration. There can be no more excuses. Please participate in your government and make sure that promises made are promises fulfilled.
Politicians from both parties need to show real leadership
This disaster of an election should be a wake-up call for all of us who care about our country, Republicans and Democrats alike. If you think this was a victory for the Republican Party, ponder for a minute that if things had broken a little differently we could be talking about President-elect Sanders now. This election was about rejection of the status quo, especially by working class voters in our industrial heartland in the upper Midwest.
For way too long, both parties have been ignoring the middle class, instead pandering to wealthy interests that finance our ever-so-expensive elections. The United Sates is great not because of the likes of Donald Trump or Mark Zuckerberg, it’s great because of our factory workers, teachers, policemen, and so forth that show up for work every day and keep this country running. We desperately need politicians of both parties to show some real leadership to unite our poor country and make government work to serve the needs of its citizens.
Our democracy depends on members of Congress speaking up
I am fearful of the Trump presidency. His campaign is one of hate and fear filled rhetoric targeted at people who are other – nonwhite, non-Christian, LGBT, women. He is in the process of choosing cabinet members and administrative staff who will continue to encourage that rhetoric and the abhorrent beliefs, who deny the reality of climate change and will place our world in even greater danger, who will dismantle or render ineffective regulatory agencies such as EPA and safeguards such as Dodd-Frank. Trump’s criticism of NATO, admiration of Putin, terrorist rhetoric (approval of torture, murder of the families of terrorists, endorsement of nuclear proliferation) signal a change in foreign policy that will lead only to increased risk to the U.S. and western nations.
Umberto Eco described 14 characteristics of fascism. Many of those characteristics are seen in Trump’s campaign and rhetoric including a cult of tradition, the rejection of rationalism, racism, appeal to a frustrated middle class, obsession with a plot, making followers feel humiliated (America is weak, other countries take advantage of America), life is permanent warfare, machismo, control of media, selective populism, and use of impoverished language to limit complex and critical thinking of the population.
I am ashamed to live in a country where the population can support and thereby endorse racism, sexism, misogyny, and Islamophobia. Trump’s version of America is not the America in which I want to live.
I am angry with the Democratic Party for choosing a flawed candidate. I am angry with the Republican Party for standing by while their candidate made outrageous statements and outright lies and as his power increased meekly stood in line behind him.
Now, with no checks in the legislature on Trump’s power, it is up to members of Congress, without regard to Party affiliation, to monitor his words and actions, to speak up when his policies are detrimental to the United States and its citizens or endangers democracy and the world. Raise your voice loudly. Please. Our democracy depends on you.
Recent letter conflated ‘legal’ and ‘fair and square’
Thursday’s letter from Creighton Bricker (“Protesters should know that Trump won fair and square”) conflates two non-synonymous standards – legal and “fair and square”.
While those “protesters should know that Trump won” the election legally under Article II, Section 1, of our Constitution (providing for the Electoral College), Bricker himself surely must know – as do those protesters – that Trump did not win “fair and square” (a familiar idiom meaning “honestly and straightforwardly”).
Rather, by all objective measures, Trump was the most dishonest presidential candidate in U.S. history – cynically banking on the now-confirmed expectation that his devoted base of resentment-filled “deplorables” was entirely immune from fact-checking and would continue to be mesmerized by his rhetoric even when they knew he was lying.
Likewise, while Trump’s campaign was “straightforward” in its direct appeal to atavistic racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, nativism, and religious intolerance, he still has not released his tax returns (the most “straightforward” proof of personal integrity) and has confidently taken conflicting positions on a host of issues – even as he, Pence, and other surrogates bald-facedly denied saying what is captured on video-tape and tweets.
Bricker also employs the oldest propagandistic trick in the books – projecting his own bigotry on those who call out bigotry when they see it. Bricker’s “tell” is conveniently ignoring the facts that Trump’s political rise began with racist “birtherism,” that he then stoked exaggerated fears of Hispanic and Muslim immigrants, and that Republicans in the South oppose Medicaid expansion because it disproportionately benefits minorities.
Protestors perceive that a victorious minority of misled voters abandoned democracy in favor of a would-be autocrat. Group photos of the Trump family resemble those of the Romanovs (with Stephen Bannon mimicking Rasputin off-camera). While no one seeks for them the fate that befell the Romanovs, only the delusional can seriously believe that a dubious and amateurish Trump presidency combined with twice-failed Republican fiscal policies will “Make America Great Again.”