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THOMPSON: A message for Trump supporters

September 07, 2020 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


You are my enemy. It’s just that simple...and just that complex. It’s taken 70 years...my entire life...to accept what in retrospect was inevitable. Some of you...I actually know. Most...I do not. But you all share the same DNA...the same worldview. You claim only your values are American...only yours reflect family and patriotism...only you represent all that is good.

There is always this “holier-than-thou” undertone to your discussions of virtually any issues...a condescension rooted in culture and religion, perhaps. Plagued by more phobias than I can name...you consistently fear everything not like you...and stoke these unfounded fears in others. You lie...just like the man you voted for in 2016 and still support today despite overwhelming evidence of incompetence and corruption.

Ironically, you seem to revile or deny everything that made America...balances of independence and interdependence...boldness and reticence...strength and compassion. But your world is black or white...no shades of gray.

You see America as Christian...and white...exclusively. Your history - perversely - blames immigrants and slaves...rather than crediting both for building America. You fight truths with a vengeance...a determination to re-write history on the fly...and re-live the 1950s or maybe the 1850s.

You call yourself Republican...but that, too, is a lie. You follow in cult-like fashion a man - Donald J. Trump - who lies...more than 20,000 known lies in three and a half years. You idolize Trump...you want to be like him but are too cowardly...so you live vicariously through him. What else could it be? Tell me.

Republicans used to be reasonable...I had friends who were Republicans...and I enjoyed sparring with them over public policy and social issues. Republicans used to be fiscally conservative. Republicans used to care about all Americans.

Here are seven planks from the Republican Party Platform in 1956...when Eisenhower was president: Provide federal assistance to low-income communities; Protect Social Security; Provide asylum for refugees; Extend minimum wage; Improve unemployment benefit system so it covers more people; Strengthen labor laws so workers can more easily join a union; Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of sex. Sounds Democratic...Liberal. Everything you hate.

Trump has turned your party into a cult...filled with mostly racist, mostly uneducated...mostly hateful people. Not a single past Republican president - living or dead - would be a Trump Republican. You see nothing wrong or un-American about Trump’s total deference to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and his interference with American elections. Sorry, you can’t call yourself “decent” or even “American” and do that.

The people who now call themselves Republicans have been on a road to nowhere since the 1950s...that’s when the “Party of Lincoln” grew it’s first cancer...Joesph McCarthy, a conservative and a natural born hater.

Unlike Dwight Eisenhower, who served as president of the United States from 1952 until 1960, McCarthy appealed to Americans through fear...relying on a largely ignorant faction of the party who chose rhetoric over facts.

McCarthy was the precursor - a more benign cancer - of Donald J. Trump. Trump is pancreatic cancer...by the time you notice the symptoms you’re marking months on the calendar until you give up your soul.

The recent Republican National Convention proved just how close the Republican Party is to going on life support. It is beyond help...beyond salvation...in life or morality. There were none of the names who were stalwarts of the Republican Party on hand this year...no Bushes, no Doles, no Bakers, no Reagans...or none of the people who worked for them or with them.

But it’s not just a changing of the guard in names. No, it’s philosophy...it’s the blind adoption of protectionism and isolationism that hasn’t been seen in America for almost 100 years. The Trumpians pretty well killed off the philosophy of the Republican Party...it exists in name only.

Your politics are a grab bag of ills...a compilation of the worst in people. You miss politicians like George Wallace and Joseph McCarthy...or at least look back at them fondly...as folk heroes.

Look at who you admire today...Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump...all speakers at the recent Republican National Convention. See a pattern?

But there were others who spoke who were equally corrupt...equally nuts...equally racist...equally un-American. Want some proof?

Let’s take Mark and Patricia McCloskey, whose claim to fame was their brandishing of weapons when peaceful protesters marched past their home in St. Louis this past June.

Trump has tried to make them heroes...examples of people defending their suburban homes when blacks and Liberals and Left wingers invade. Except there never has been such an invasion. And the McCloskeys...well, both have been charged with a felony.

Then, there’s anti-abortionist activist Abby Johnson. She promotes the idea that each American household would get one vote in the general election - for president and all other offices and laws - and the husband would determine for whom it is cast.

Kimberly Guilfoyle - Don Jr’s girlfriend - certainly sounded like an inmate from an insane asylum...look her speech up on YouTube...it’ll either make you laugh or scare the crap out of you.

We didn’t hear from May Ann Mendoza, whose son was killed six years ago by a drunk driver.

A couple days prior to her scheduled speech, she re-tweeted a conspiracy theory that Jews had a plan to control the world...and was yanked. Hmmm...nuts or simply a bigot? Either way Trump Republicans just seem to get in their own way.

Of course, a lot of speakers and spokespersons who were prominent in the 2016 Republican Convention were absent this year...Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and Roger Stone. They’re all either guilty or awaiting judgment on felonies and misdemeanours.

Of course, there were plenty of folks who haven’t yet been found guilty of crimes...but are likely to face investigations and charges. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke...and like the others, lied. He said Democrats “want to defund the police” and “want free health care for illegal immigrants.” Actually, the Democratic Party Platform - unanimously adopted last week - doesn’t support either. But why let facts keep you from fear-mongering?

By the way, there is no Republican Party Platform...nothing. Instead, Republicans produced a letter swearing allegiance to Donald Trump. That’s very, well...Nazi Party-like.

I could go on and on...Lindsey Graham, Kevin McCarthy, Mike Pence...they’ve all drunk the Trump Kool-Aid. They are the enemy of every American who values the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the rule of law. And they are my enemies...and if you are a Trump supporter...you, too, are my enemy.

Your racism, your narrow-mindedness, your willingness to look the other way in the face of Trump corruption, your mindless, cult-like acceptance of fiction over fact make it so. And you can’t brush everything off with a “that’s Trump being Trump,” you own it.

You underestimate me, and the millions of Democrats and disaffected Republicans who will vote this Nov. 3. We let you destroy the Republican Party, but don’t think for a moment we’ll stand idly by and let you destroy America.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.


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