Richmond Times-Dispatch

Turn spotlight off Trump; focusonwor­kingtogeth­er

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EDITOR, TIMES-DISPATCH:

Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 for two reasons: He seemed to be the quintessen­tial anti-politician, and he wasn’t Hillary Clinton. Since he could play the Clinton card only once, he needed to really drive the anti-politician angle if he wanted a second term. He did that. If he had been a reasonably decent person, he would have won a second term in a landslide. Four years of trampling on American values — honesty, integrity, accountabi­lity, respect, etc. — and not being a decent human being might have made him a one-term president, but the anti-politician fervor that brought him to power has intensifie­d. With Trump fanning the flames of discord, the radicals on both sides are getting all the attention in the news, making us appear hopelessly at one another’s throats and further eroding any esteem for elected representa­tives that might remain among average Americans. Fortunatel­y, it isn’t as bad as it appears in the media.

We have many decent people in Congress on both sides of the aisle — including 13 Virginians — who have the character, integrity and willingnes­s to overcome ideologica­l barriers and work together as if they’re working for the same country. The country never will accept a large swing either to the left or the right, so progress is going to come from good people finding common ground in the middle, people who have the courage to vote for what they think is right rather than what their party leaders tell them is right. The media spotlight needs to be turned off of Trump, and the far right and far left forever, and now focused on those in Congress who care more about the country than political grandstand­ing.

JIM JEFFRESS.

POWHATAN.

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