The rage of the fires is a reflection of the rage that is growing inside too many of us, on right and left. I fear the consequences. We need leadership that can pour oil on the troubled waters of our discourse—though “discourse” is too generous a word for the shouting past each other that is occurring these days. So perhaps I should say, leadership that can demonstrate and remind us that respectful discourse is what is needed. That, and occasional elbow bumps.
The devil incarnate
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
Trump is the devil incarnate. Instead of a red suit with horns and a tail, he sports a three piece with an orange top knot, but there is little difference. Evil looks the same no matter. His gestures, his words, his tone of voice, all elicit fear. He is a hatemonger. He denies racism exists and gives a nod to white supremacists. The ultra-right in Germany look up to him as a role model. The Proud Boys have made him their candidate of choice.
There is a long list of trespasses for this so-called leader. Each one deserves condemnation. He knew the pandemic was horrific, but he did nothing. A few simple words in early February, encouraging people to wear a mask and social distance as the scientists recommended, would have limited the damage. Instead, he told the world this would just go poof in April.
He knows the Russians have interfered in our elections, but he says nothing. He knows they put a bounty on our soldiers, but he does nothing. He knows Putin had his rival poisoned, but he acknowledges nothing.
Instead of addressing systemic racism, he calls for law and order and stokes the flames of violence. He says he is the great environmentalist in the face of his exit from the Paris Accord and several Executive Orders to the contrary.
He is the epitome of immorality. Does he truly believe that if he says something it becomes true? The man even lies about his own height and weight! He lies about how he can bring peace, economic prosperity and health, while all of those concepts have been irreparably harmed by his actions and inactions under his watch for the last four years.
I am on overload—too much Trump, too many pandemic deaths, too much smoke, too much racism and hate. While I know that there are many who share my despair, I am distraught knowing that there are millions of fellow citizens, fellow humans on this planet, who adore him. It is difficult, nigh impossible, to reconcile the two.
I hear time and time again that the light cannot come, cannot even be recognized, without the darkness. That being said, we must be in for a blinding light show in the near future. November 3, 2020, works for me.