Protests Against Trump: A Response


A friend who was a Hillary supporter recently criticized protesters in our county, saying that we would have criticized Trump supporters if they had done this. Here was my response:


Look, I’m not out there, and I’m keeping an open mind. Nobody really knows what Trump will do. But, for young people, Muslims, Latinos, and women especially, Trump’s words are real and threatening. That’s all we have to go by.

Young people in particular do not understand how someone can win the popular vote and lose an election. It seems undemocratic, and indeed it is. This is the second time in twenty years this has happened, and many feel disenfranchised. These kind of events where the majority loses strike at the heart of our democratic system and persuade many that this is no longer a free society.

I realize from a political point of view, demonstrating at this time may not be a smart move. I get that.

Yet, a man who threatens to deport an entire population of people and to ban an entire religion from this country is not someone we should ignore. This is a man who promised to torture people and to murder families of alleged terrorists. He recently mocked Somali immigrants in Minneapolis and has made fun of the disabled more than once. He is a self-admitted sexual predator, and many women have come forward to confirm this. His closing advertisement targeted Jews as part of a global economic conspiracy.

Bystanders have not been moral actors in the past. History has taught us that, when politicians make horrifying statements and threats, we should believe them until proven otherwise.

I still hope and would not be shocked to see Trump change. Rhetoric is one thing, action another. But, as a member of a family and a group affected by murder and torture in the holocaust, I’ll be damned if I would expect others to sit down and be silent in the face of hatred. That never works, and it never will. The only chance for Trump to change is to make known to him and his supporters that words have consequences and that we will resist evil when necessary.

This is not merely a political contest between two candidates and political parties. It represents a clash of worldviews, one of which expresses a group (white people, especially those less educated) that feels victimized and has decided to victimize others. This is serious and not a “normal” moment in American history and politics. It’s a visceral threat to many and potentially strikes at the core of freedom and democracy.

Maybe this is not the best political thing to do right now, and I’m not participating (yet), but it is understandable and justifiable given the raging hatred and threats that Trump spewed in this campaign.

Maybe we should all chill and not criticize those who are rightfully frightened.

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Comey Second Letter: The Fog Finally Lifts

This reminds me of the battle of the Bulge when the fog prevented air support for the Allied troops in mid-December, 1944. It was a cold, shivering, grim, wet, bloody battle with heavy losses and countless tragic moments. I know many were scarred for life from the viciousness of the fighting with close to 200,000 lives lost on both sides. At Bastogne, the Germans surrounded 20,000 Allied troops who were ready for a massacre. When the Germans asked the Allies to surrender, Major-General Anthony McCauliffe replied, “Nuts.” But eventually near Christmas, 1944, the fog lifted and the planes and bombers arrived to helped Allied troops evict the Germans from their positions with a great victory in the Ardennes offensive.
Now the fog has lifted in this election, and the sun shines through the clouds. We just need to get out of our trenches, move forward, and not look back. The end of the battle is at hand. Evil is on the run.
This is not a normal election. Trump is not a normal candidate. We all need to stand together, from all parties and points of view, and reject hatred, bigotry, violence, divisiveness, dictatorship, and demagoguery. Trump’s nomination is a shame and a stain on America. Let us do what we can to remove it and stop ourselves from committing national suicide. Finally, the light has returned, and we are on the offense and moving fast against dark forces.
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