DRB Letters to the editor for July 1, 2020
Letters to the Editor

DRB Letters to the editor for July 1, 2020

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Our democracy is under threat

It was during the 5th century — Before the Common Era — that the ancient Greeks, primarily through the efforts of Pericles, bequeathed “democracy” to the world.

They also gave us the word “tyrant,” which aptly describes our current president.

On June 11, John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr charging them with violating the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He wrote this: “Mr. President, you are treading in dangerous territory. This way lies tyranny.” Our democracy is some 240 years old. It is the longest-lived democracy in the history of the world. It did not come with an insurance policy.

Trump’s authoritarian approach to government mirrors fascism, not democracy. What fascists hate the most is a liberal democracy and a free press.

Thomas Jefferson has been credited for the following observation, though there is no evidence that he said it. But he would no doubt have agreed with it: “When the speech condemns a free press you are hearing the words of a tyrant.”

Why do you think Trump keeps shouting “fake news?” Trump seems to be totally oblivious to such ethical virtues as: civility, integrity, dignity, compassion, forgiveness and empathy. Trump has no idea how to act as president. As Robert Kagan (the son of Ronald Kagan), a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution put it so clearly and forcefully in 2016 in an editorial for the Washington Post, entitled “This how fascism comes to America:”

Trump’s public discourse consists of attacking or ridiculing a wide range of “others” — Muslims, Hispanics, women, Chinese, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, immigrants, refugees — whom he depicts either as threats or as objects of derision. This is how fascism comes to America.

It is not unusual for politicians to use religion to win over supporters. But what Trump did on June 1 at St. John’s Episcopal church is shameful. Trump held up a Bible, never prayed, never said a word.

Our democracy is hanging by a thin hair. If Trump “wins” the upcoming November election, that hair may very well be cut. Do not think it cannot happen.

JOHN LAUGHLIN

Danville

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