Let rea­son and facts guide our de­ci­sions

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION -

Dear Ed­i­tor: I am thank­ful we still live in a coun­try that val­ues and pro­tects free­dom of speech, as ex­er­cised by Richard T. Cantwell Sr., “LET­TER: Pro­test­ers against Trump ‘noth­ing but a bunch of spoiled brats,’” Oct. 23, 2016. I re­spect that he wants his opin­ion heard and takes the time to voice it.

I be­lieve sev­eral com­ments stated by Cantwell, how­ever, were driven by emo­tion rather than fact.

It is true that a large num­ber of Amer­i­cans voted for Trump in the last elec­tion, though it ap­pears to be get­ting clearer he did not win by pop­u­lar vote. It’s likely many did so be­cause of their sin­cere hope he would im­prove work­ing con­di­tions, im­prove their lives and their abil­ity to send kids off to col­lege rather than end­less wars. Such cam­paign pledges from any can­di­date for the high­est of­fice in our land are com­mend­able. It’s quite another thing to make such prom­ises with­out of­fer­ing cred­i­ble plans as to how they will be achieved. Still, agreed: this does not make Trump a racist.

What does make him a racist, how­ever, as well as a misog­y­nist, bigot and liar are his, ver­i­fi­ably doc­u­mented words and ac­tions while cam­paign­ing and in some of his prior pub­lic be­hav­iors. Th­ese words and deeds make him to­tally in­ap­pro­pri­ate and in­el­i­gi­ble for scores of jobs, in­clud­ing that of pres­i­dent.

To make mat­ters worse, he is now at­tempt­ing to sur­round him­self with ap­pointees equally in­ap­pro­pri­ate. We can ar­gue over the best way to avoid wars, pro­vide for ed­u­ca­tion and so on. But there should be no ex­cep­tion made or al­lowance for any­one to sit in the Oval Of­fice who has be­haved as unashamedly.

The pro­test­ers I have ob­served have not been cry­ing be­cause they didn’t get their voted way. They are cry­ing, my­self in­cluded, be­cause of what the tragic out­come of this elec­tion threat­ens to do to our own peo­ple and to our cred­i­bil­ity as a world leader. Protest we will and we will con­tinue to do so.

Let’s make judg­ments based upon facts and com­mon sense rather than run­away emo­tions and inklings. Let’s try to speak civilly to one another rather than re­duc­ing our­selves to name-call­ing and spec­u­la­tion about oth­ers be­ing in du­bi­ous cat­e­gories. We must rely on the truth as best as we can dis­cern it. I say this not as an anti-Amer­i­can cry­baby, but as a re­tired, 70-year-old hop­ing for bet­ter con­ver­sa­tion, crit­i­cal think­ing and de­ci­sion-mak­ing in our fu­ture vot­ing choices.

Rik Flynn, Cot­tekill

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