Jean Abercrombie, St. Joseph
The current occupant of the White House took out a full-page ad in the New York Times demanding the death penalty be brought back for the five young Black men convicted for assault and rape in Central Park in 1989. Later, he repeatedly accused Barack Obama of not having been born in America.
The young men were eventually exonerated. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and Americans elected him the first Black president of the United States.
Four years ago, candidate Trump asked Black American voters, “What do you have to lose by voting for me?”
Unfortunately, ever since we are seeing what all Americans have to lose.
Trump did finally acknowledge that Barack Obama was, indeed, born in the United States. Later, according to White House sources, he said he would have done better in the polls and election numbers if he had “continued to stand his ground on the birth-certificate issue.” Then, in his first year, he overturned or tried to overturn key Obama policies, including the Affordable Care Act.
But his current, not very subtle use of racism as a dog whistle (a subtly aimed political message usually intended for a particular group) seems to be working, leading to unrest and violence in our American neighborhoods and streets.
This president used a variety of dog whistles to win supporters with his hateful and divisive language. He stirs up the most uncomfortable of our American traits, xenophobia, in manipulating his supporters with an “us against them” almost pep-rally-like racism and endorsement of violence.
At his rallies, he has said he would pay any legal fees for attendees who roughed up protestors; he has encouraged police officers not to be “too nice” when they are putting handcuffed suspects into a squad car.
The last night of the convention, breaking tradition and, perhaps law, he pointed back to the White House and shouted to his crowd, “We’re here and THEY’RE not!” US vs THEM could be no plainer.
A statesman (or woman) is someone who is in a position of power but who always puts the good of his country over his own desire for personal gain, be it financial or egotistical. A healthy political debate is good for America, but the present chaos is not. The very worst of us is highlighted and used for political gain.
In Shakespeare’s play “MacBeth,” Scotland had suffered greatly under the greed and incompetence of MacBeth’s rule and the nation’s people wonder if they will ever “see wholesome days again?”
But the man whom MacBeth killed so he himself could become king was King Malcolm, a man known to be of “good truth and honor.” He was what we would call a true “statesman.”
Our nation is wounded and needs healing. It is time to end this madness and elect a true statesman to lead our nation.