Who are we?

Belleville News-Democrat (Sunday) - - Opinion -

As the Novem­ber midterm elec­tion ap­proaches, Amer­i­cans must ask our­selves if we truly be­lieve in the ideals and val­ues that once made Amer­i­can the most re­spected democ­racy on earth, or have we aban­doned those virtues to in­stead fol­low Don­ald Trump, a nar­cis­sis­tic dem­a­gogue bent on self-en­rich­ment and power? He cares not for this coun­try, its Con­sti­tu­tion, or its peo­ple. Daily he lev­els as­saults on the ba­sic tenets of our democ­racy. He at­tacks our free and in­de­pen­dent press, call­ing it the “en­emy of the peo­ple.” He con­stantly in­ter­feres and pres­sures the Depart­ment of Jus­tice. He sides with Vladimir Putin in­stead of with our in­tel­li­gence agen­cies. He un­der­mines the in­tegrity of our elec­toral process by stat­ing in 2016, “If I lose it’s be­cause the sys­tem is rigged.”

He has gained power by ly­ing, pro­mot­ing eco­nomic fear, and di­vid­ing Amer­i­can by in­still­ing eth­nic ha­tred. Pres­i­dent Lyn­don John­son once ar­gued, “If you can con­vince the low­est white man he’s bet­ter than the best col­ored man, he won’t no­tice you’re pick­ing his pocket.”

Trump and the Repub­li­can Party have ex­celled at pick­ing the pock­ets of mid­dle Amer­ica: un­prece­dented tax cuts for the wealthy, nu­mer­ous votes to elim­i­nate the Af­ford­able Care Act, and the trans­fer of more power to cor­po­ra­tions over work­ers. Most dis­turb­ing was a re­cent state­ment by eco­nomic ad­vi­sor Larry Kud­low, that in 2019, Repub­li­cans will be­gin to look for ways to cut en­ti­tle­ments (So­cial Se­cu­rity and Medi­care).

Open your minds, for this elec­tion will de­ter­mine the soul of Amer­ica.

– Mark St. Ivany, Belleville

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