July 17, 2019 11:29:15 AM
Disappointed at political leadership's response to comments by Trump
I am -- again -- dismayed at the level of political discourse in our country, a subject I discussed in a recent letter to the Dispatch (July 3). This time, however, I direct my criticism outside Columbus, specifically at the President and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, whose performances Monday I find inconsistent with what I expect out of any of my fellow citizens, let alone those who represent our country at the highest levels.
For those who missed it, President Trump earlier this week sarcastically suggested that four Democratic members of the House of Representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, all of whom have been critical of the Trump administration policies on immigration, "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
What? From which they came? Meaning their four individual states? No, unfortunately, that's not what he meant. Certainly not how I and many others perceived the statement. That's an absurd suggestion no matter the circumstances. These are elected representatives, just like the President and Senator Graham and, like the senator and President, deserve better public treatment than that. Later, Senator Graham, called these same four women a "bunch of Communists." Really? That's a pretty big leap from criticizing immigration policy. By your logic, I guess you would wrongly call me a communist, too. Senator Graham, I dislike many things you say and disagree with many of your beliefs but I don't then call you a fascist or anti-American.
Let me be clear. Despite considering myself a fellow Democrat, I do not agree with every position taken by these 4 women -- not by any stretch. I don't even agree completely with their stances on immigration. But that's no reason to label them as anti-American. Instead, I presume these women ran for office for the same reasons President Trump and Senator Graham did -- they wanted to serve their communities to make both those communities and their country better, and thought they had some ideas that would help bring that about. I assume the same about anyone who runs for office. For the President and Senator Graham to suggest otherwise is not only false, it's wrong in a moral sense, too. They know what they're doing and I think they know it's wrong. They do it anyway. They're not the only ones, it happens on both sides of the aisle - and it's still always wrong.
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