I make it a practice to look back on what I write, especially when what I’d written takes a social or political stance. It helps me reflect on my arguments and emotions, and whether I would have expressed myself differently, had I known how the future unfolded. Today I revisited an open letter I posted seven weeks ago as the nation was in the throes of the presidential election. As one who remains unconvinced that President-elect Trump was this countries best choice, I am prepared to let the next few months play out, and then reconsider his administration’s achievements, for better or worse. In looking back at my concerns this past election cycle, I see that Trump’s election is not the problem, it’s a symptom of what’s sticking in the craw of the many of the electorate that put him into office, not for economic, but for social, perhaps cultural reasons. And, consequently gives me no comfort that we have or will heal this nation, regardless what Trump’s administration does or does not do.
My open letter was prompted by one of my friends posting the rants of a chain letter, from someone who, by all accounts, appeared in Trump’s corner. Each of the recipients of the chain letter read it as some solemn truth. One applauded it as “Brilliant.” I disagreed. In part what I’d written began:
“My dear friends, with whom I spent some of the greatest moments in childhood, we have long headed down different politically ideological paths over the last 60-odd years. Yes, 60-odd, since those dozen or so long New England summers and icy winters, before we had no real stake in the world, except one that made growing-up fun, before the war, the Vietnam war, when we scattered to the four compass points, before the neighborhood we loved let our parents sell the homes we grew up in to people that did not look like us, people of non-European ethnicities, of different hues shades and color. Was there something back then that I’d missed? Something I did not see? Or were we truly innocent, untouched by cultural quarrels. . ., cultural quarrels, which now come to afflict us in our golden years, quarrels that come dangerously close to separating us.”
I went on to tackle the chain letter point by point (below as bolded headlines), and as I re-read it today, it only reinforces my belief that Trump’s election will not change the cultural malaise that hangs over this country. Here are the letter-writers points underlined, and mine that follow in a separate paragraph, let me know if I am off-base on this, and that Trump’s election indeed will fix the countries great divide.
I am the Democratic-Republican-Liberal-Progressive’s Worst Nightmare.
Why, what in fact does this letter-writer do to create that nightmare. What is he, a John Bircher, a Separatists, Klu Klux Clan, terrorist? What? Just what party affiliation does he own up to? Presumably, he will vote for Trump. Does he know that this country is a republic that operates on the basis of a plurality of its citizens. If there were no political parties, we’d call is a dictatorship or a fascist state. Ahh, perhaps this satisfies his political agenda.
I am a White, Conservative, Tax-Paying American, Gun Owning Veteran that’s me!
If he is all these things, I am happy if it makes him happy. But, what is behind the point? I am not White, when it is spelled with a capital letter. I am Caucasian, but more brown, Mediterranean baked, and darker than my wife who is genetically 52% Native American, with the balance Spanish. White capitalized excludes over half the population, and for those of you against the notion of exclusion in a democratic society, this should be offensive.
I believe in the freedom of religion, but I don’t push it on others.
I would hope he believes in F-O-R. My recollection is that the nuns always pushed it on me, and for what small part of me is religious, I hold no animosities towards these good women. Yeah for the bible-thumpers. We especially need those that use it for purposes of showing compassion, in the fashion of Jesus Christ, who would have been appalled by those not helping the poor.
I believe in American products and buy them whenever I can.
I do too, but it’s hard these days as the large outlets, Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, Apple, Trump enterprises (American icons buy from overseas). Who is to blame? I am not going to pay a 40% tariff! Let’s get creative America, create new industries.
I believe the money I make belongs to me and not some liberal governmental functionary, Democrat or Republican, that wants to share it with others who don’t work!
I have no sympathy for those who can work, but don’t. I rail against taxes as any normal person would do. But, I would rather pay taxes in this country, than pay no taxes in any South American, African, Asian country, all of which I have visited. We pay taxes to keep a military, to make sure we do not see people dying in the streets, to keep our kids educated, yes even help those in need, … that is why we pay taxes. And, why those who aspire to become president do, or should do.
I think owning a gun doesn’t make you a killer; it makes you a smart American.
First part’s true, second part’s stupid, as most gang bangers own guns and they are not smart in my book. I am against guns in the hands of the irresponsible, law breakers, mentally ill. I will assume he is none of these, and that no one has taken away his gun.
I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything.
Get over it! First part true, but obviously he thinks that minorities think otherwise—me thinks he is stereotyping. I know a few majority that consider themselves victimized—and know a great many more minorities that do not think themselves victimized. He should get out of the house and travel around the country. Shake a few hands, and not be so afraid.
I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac or any other item, you should do it in English.
Yes, and who doesn’t. I live in a region where I’d guess 75 percent of the population are bi-lingual (I can’t say this for most Americans, who cannot read or write a second language). Nobody, even at the New Mexican restaurants around here speak Spanish, unless you start first. Like when I grew up, a lot of the restaurants were Italian, run by Italian speaking owners, but unless you spoke Italian to them, they served you in English. That is my experience. Maybe he eats in places of which I know not.
I believe there should be no other language option for business.
I have been in business or catered to just about every business-type known to Americans throughout most of this country during the past 55+ years working, and I have no idea what this guy is talking about. Has any of us experienced otherwise? I went to court for a client of mine in New Britain CT, last year. The clerk read people their rights in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish. It seems apparent from what he says later, that he never lived in a largely first/second generation European populated American city, like our home town was, when we grew up, or like the New York neighborhoods, where my Italian and Portuguese relatives first came and understood not a lick of English. Hooray for the courts that want to insure constitutional rights for everyone.
I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.
Yes! And, apparently, he can’t? Has any of us experienced otherwise? I can’t go more than a mile in New Mexico with bumping into a church. If he means in a school, then maybe he has a solution for what praying we do, and when we do it. If we accommodated everyone’s predilections, we’d be praying all day.
I don’t hate the rich. I don’t pity the poor.
Who does he believe does?
I’ve never owned a slave, nor was I a slave. I haven’t burned any witches , and neither have you!
True, but lately I have not thought about this subject—I have more important things to do every day, like cleaning the cat’s box.
I believe if you don’t like the way things are here, go back to where you came from and change your own country!
I don’t want to return to Bridgeport. My wife does not want to return to the Bering Straits, where the first natives appeared 20,000 years ago. In fact, I would suggest that maybe he is the outsider.
This is AMERICA …We like it the way it is and more so the way it was …so stop trying to change it to look like Russia or China, or some other socialist country!
Just who is changing it? Walmart, Apple,….it’s the corporations that have had the greatest influence on the goods we consume every day—built on near-slave labor no less. If he means the racial composition, the Anglos of 125 years ago, up until the 70s most felt the same way about Italians, Spanish, Greeks, Turks, Asians, South Americans immigrants, and to boot their children, of whom I, and you all were as well. And, yes, racial composition has been changing: Irish married Italians, Italians married Puerto Ricans, the Spanish married Native Americans, the Native Americans married the Irish, English married African Americans, and African Americans married…each of those combinations reverse the order–you get the point. So what? Does that dehumanize the next generation? No, it’s a process that’s been going on since the caveman, and will be the way nature drives the species, without bias, prejudice, interest or corruption, unless we manage to annihilate ourselves.
If you were born here and don’t like it… you are free to move to any Socialist country that will have you.
Maybe, but they too have immigration laws—why would they want us. And, if this guy is so angry, how come he is not leaving?
I believe it is time to really clean house, starting with the White House, the seat of our biggest problems.
He’s entitled to his political opinion. And, if the truth be known, every 4-8 years that is what has happened, since 1797. (At the time I’d written this, no one knew he’d get his wish).
I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you’re breaking the law, regardless of what race or color you are.
Yes, that is true—but pull you over for no reason is yet another issue. And, that certainly seems to be the case in far too many circumstances, some of which have proved deadly.
And, no, I don’t mind having my face shown on my driver’s license, nor the necessity of showing my Identification, to conduct normal business or especially to vote . I think those policies are more than prudent…
And, who is arguing with this? White supremacists? Although the idea is to have the most people vote, and not be questioned (as my wife who, the past 6 years, every time she goes to vote, gets the 3rd degree. It’s not because she doesn’t have id, it’s because they can’t believe someone who looks like her (a Native American) votes at their precinct.
I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don’t want you deciding who should be running The most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.
He must know stupid people. I don’t. Has any of us experienced otherwise?
I believe that it doesn’t take a village to raise a child, it takes a man and woman …
Yep, provided they stay committed. He has not mentioned that yet, you know his commitment to a community, a family, something.
I believe ‘illegal’ is illegal no matter what the lawyers, or progressive Democrats think!
Yes, until you are accused of a crime you did not commit! I have defended as may republicans as democrats-some of whom were actually innocent.
I want to return this country to the values it was founded on, and prospered under for over 200 years! A lot of good over the last 200 years.
And a lot of bad. Slavery, decimated Native Americans, discriminated against the Irish, Italians, Poles, Black, Hispanics,…Catholics, Jews…(too many to mention), but if a certain man is elected president, for sure Muslims and Mexicans.
My Country…I hope this offends all illegal aliens.
I doubt they are reading this, and few illegal aliens really care what we, you, I and he really think. They are working their butts off. My grandfather, who came here illegally, only thought about working, and had no time for reading diatribes, which in his time I am sure existed.
Hypothetically, my great, great, great, great grandfather watched and bled as his friends died in the Revolution and the War of 1812.
What’s he mean hypothetically. I doubt he really wants to use this word in this context. Seems if he is so wise, he’d pick up a dictionary, grammar and composition book, learn to write a tad better.
My great, great, great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Mexican American War.
The war was short, and involved very few soldiers. I assume they lived out here in the West, where I am, otherwise, I somehow doubt they did.
My great, great grandfather watched as his friends and brothers died in the Civil War.
Can he name them? I would truly like to know who they were. My son and daughter can actually name their Great great-grandfather Jose Delores Duran, who unlike this guy, had ancestors that go back to the 1500s, and whom my family can actually name.
My great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Spanish-American War.
Can he name them? Where were they stationed? I would like to know who they were. Teddy Roosevelt visited the town Las Vegas NM, a few miles from here, frequently and heavily recruited the people from this region as Rough-riders. Could it be because they actually spoke Spanish?
My father watched as his friends died in WW II and the Korean War.
I am impressed because few men served in both wars.
I watched as my friends died in Vietnam , Panama and Desert Storm.
Interesting, so he was in Vietnam, Panama and Desert Storm. I never saw any servicemen die, except for the one B-47 that crashed on base, we actually lost six from the 307th Bomb Wing, while I was there. I am not sure what the writer’s point is. If he means we should be grateful, most Americans, even the disaffected, do not deny the sacrifice.
My son watched and bled as his friends died in Afghanistan and Iraq …
I applaud his service, if his son was in one, and especially both theaters of operation, as he claims.
None of them died for the Mexican Flag.
I would hope not, unless of course he was a soldier was in Afghanistan, where all the allies were part of a coalition, as in WWII, Korea, and in part Vietnam (I learned this last point when for a brief time, I was in Korea meeting with the Secretary of the Ministry of Defense in 1984, where we all fought for each others flag.
Everyone of them died for the American flag, and liberty.
We do not die for flags, but what the flag symbolizes, American values, the security of it peoples, and sometimes the security of other peoples, who are not like us, whom if they were among us here in the US, ironically this guy might rail against.
Texas high school students raised a Mexican flag on a school flag pole, other students took it down. Guess who was expelled…the students who took it down.
Who? I like to get the place, date, and circumstances, otherwise it may be an isolated event that I can be explained.
California high school students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo because they wore T-shirts with The American flag printed on them.
I spent about 9 months studying Constitutional Law, and one of the courses was right to free speech. Schools have the right to control dress. So, who was sent home for what, and why? I like to get the place, date, and circumstances.
Enough is enough!
This message needs to be viewed by every American; and every American needs to stand up for America. We’ve bent over to appease the America-haters long enough. I’m taking a stand.