(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)
Dec. 21, 2019 — It may surprise some people that — even though I am one who never wanted Donald Trump to be president, and I did not believe him when he said he would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution — I am not gleeful in the least about his impeachment. In fact, I am terribly sad over what has become of America the Beautiful.
My grandparents, refugees who escaped their homeland with nothing much and just their children —basically lived the American Dream. I grew up believing in the amazing promise that I, too, could enjoy the best that America has to offer.
As I pursued an education, meaningful work, good relationships, the next thing I knew the world went upside down as a popular presidential candidate ridiculed people with disabilities, and those who were different than him. He spoke in pejorative and disrespectful terms about half the population of the world (i.e. women). He had no political experience and had a questionable history in business.
When he was elected president, he disregarded — and seemed determined to dismantle — our nation’s meaningful alliances.
He created and fostered business relationships that benefitted his own enterprises and those of his family; he cut programs that helped people who needed help — including farmers upon whom we all depend — and veterans who had served the nation for better or worse in its exploits around the world.
With letters and phone calls, I called upon elected officials from both sides of the aisle in the Legislative Branch of the government (Congress) to provide those checks and balances the founders of our nation envisioned as part of their role in government.
I was nonplussed when my appeals, and those of thousands of other concerned citizens, seemed to go unheeded and even unacknowledged. Slowly, I began to hear that this and that member of Congress, particularly Republicans from the Senate, would not seek re-election.
It dawned on me that they were choosing to abdicate their responsibility by slinking off into the shadows rather than take action to at least challenge the transformation that was taking shape across the nation. Apparently because this president used tactics that were “outside the norm” and it was too tough a battle to fight.
And it’s continued downhill from there like runoff down the mountainside — from both the left and right — with both sides carrying the angst of their resentments and inability to trust or listen to the other.
I do not want President Trump called to account simply as a method to overturn his election. That point of view ignores, minimizes and justifies much too much that has happened since his election.
On both sides, there is an utter lack of curiosity or initiative about how to rebuild with those who believe and perceive differently than they do.
This cripples our potential for creative problem solving, or even acknowledging that we are all going to suffer the same fate.