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Divide or unite?

Recently I took a break from COVID social distancing/isolation and visited with some friends. I skipped cable news for a few hours and enjoyed a beautiful outdoor setting with appropriate physical distancing. This morning my peaceful mood was violently assaulted by news clips from Trump’s Tulsa rally. Trump is set on inflaming his “base” with fear of “others,” such as non-whites, other-than-fundamentalist-Christians, imaginary violent left-wing agitators, legislators like Ilhan Omar (whom he falsely accuses of wanting to do away with government, law and order), and a host of “bad people,” in Trump’s lowest-common-denominator vocabulary. If we could identify everyone who lit a fire or threw a rock or injured another person in the weeks since George Floyd’s murder, we would find lots of opportunistic criminals and vandals, some ultra-right agitators, a handful of violent uniformed personnel and, yes, some people who are acting out in protest against police brutality, racism, corrupt government and other societal problems.

The “measured” Trump that we see and hear reading words written by others from teleprompters is a false veneer over an unprincipled personality, in my opinion. The angry, divisive Trump that we see and hear at rallies like Tulsa is the true Trump. What we need now is an empathetic, experienced leader and independent Congress who will explore and develop creative, objective solutions to our shared problems. We really don’t need a rabble-rousing, nationalist xenophobe in the Oval Office who promises to favor and to elevate a select American “master race” of his ilk.

MARK RALSTON

Centre Hall

Submitted via Virtual Newsroom

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