From: Doug Otto
As I listen to the rhetoric of the political conventions, I realize the truth is lost because every statement is so heavily spun by both sides.
That makes me sad because I remember the time right after 9-11. For several weeks, we all pulled together in support of America and each other. Kindness and goodwill were the norm. As I predicted, that spirit didn’t last and soon we returned to our old ways of looking out for ourselves. However, there was still a degree of civility in our day-to-day lives. That atmosphere remained for about 15 years.
Then, came the 2016 presidential campaign. Suddenly, a candidate surfaced who proudly exhibited hatred, cruelty, prejudice, and fear-mongering. Surely, he couldn’t be elected as president of the United States. Then the other team offered an opponent that many found equally unlikable.
Lo and behold, we elected a corrupt president who every day displays all the above characteristics plus narcissism and an inability to tell the truth possibly even to himself. He has made a career of cheating, blaming others for his own failures, choosing to follow his gut feel over scientific facts, and rejecting undeniable evidence provided by those in our time-honored institutions such as intelligence, the judiciary, and our military leaders. He has surrounded himself with sycophants — many of whom are as corrupt as he is. And when they get caught, he ensures they don’t get punished.
There is a scary byproduct of this presidency. Looking at what is called his base, it’s apparent to me that a large minority of our population agrees with his abhorrent beliefs and actions. These people hang on his every word. They flock to his rallies wearing their red hats. They cheer his every lie and boo every mention of anyone their leader doesn’t like.
That behavior, while totally distasteful to me, is OK as defined by the First Amendment. But a far deeper result is that these people now assume permission to express their hatred, act on their cruelty, exercise their bigotry, and behave in whatever unacceptable way they please. Our population has replaced goodwill with a very contagious anger.
As far as I can see, this president’s primary goals are to
–Destroy all policies of the Obama administration.
–Isolate America from its position as THE world leader.
–Discredit the free press.
–Prioritize the stock market while 180,000 Americans die.
–Have praise heaped upon him every day. And if no one else provides the praise, he will do it himself.
And he has done nothing to improve the status of low-income citizens, minorities, education, health care, the environment, foreign relations, gender and racial equality, and the pandemic.
In my lifetime, there have been presidents, Republican and Democrat, that I liked and those I didn’t. But, until now, I never felt a real threat to our national security and our democracy. Please ask yourself if you would want this man as a colleague, friend, boss, relative, or neighbor? If you say no, why would you want him as your president?
Editor’s note: This letter is paid political content