Last week I turned over part of my space to a conservative-oriented reader who said, in effect, he had suffered in silence during eight years of the Obama administration and now wished that Clinton supporters would stop crying over the election of Trump.
This week a number of readers (all but one choosing to keep their names out of it, as did the initial letter writer) have offered words of encouragement. And, if you read to the end, you will see a word of conciliation from my original critic. Readers’ comments:
Don’t lose any sleep over your correspondent’s churlish criticism (we liberals have been getting our “hate-fixes” from the New York Times for 50 years! Really? Who knew?). My guess is that your correspondent also believes that Social Security and Medicare and the ACA are “collectivist” atrocities — prime examples of “redistributions” whereby the government steals from the makers to coddle the takers.
That your correspondent voted for Trump with the “smallest” pang of guilt he ever felt is revealing. Trump is a powerful litmus test.
Make no mistake about it, voting for Donald Trump could only be done by ignoring an extraordinary list of what should have been disqualifying behaviors: racial and religious bigotry, misogyny, belittling of a handicapped reporter, ignorance of fundamental constitutional rights, refusal to release his tax returns, use of his charitable foundation’s funds to settle a private lawsuit, and sociopathic lying on a scale that is unprecedented. To suggest that Hillary Clinton is no better, or worse, than Trump, is to live in alternate universe.
My recollection is that liberals accepted the atrocious Bush v. Gore decision because it was a Supreme Court’s decision, an exercise of the rule of law. After 9/11, we supported President Bush when the nation was under attack. When Iraq was falling apart, our opposition was painted as lack of patriotism and our war hero candidate John Kerry was swift-boated. But we accepted the election results.
By the way, your correspondent appears to have forgotten that Donald Trump threatened not to accept the results of the election. Even now, he asserts that millions of fraudulent votes prevented him from winning the popular vote — without a shred of evidence.
Here’s another difference that your correspondent misses. Democrats in Congress did not obstruct everything that George W. Bush proposed, in contrast to Mitch McConnell’s outrageous pledge (which he fulfilled) to do everything he and the Republican party could do to make President Obama’s tenure a failure, even at the expense of the national interest. But now, apparently, we are supposed to be quiet and take our medicine.
As I said at the top, don’t lose sleep over criticism from people like your correspondent. What a good editor does, liberal or conservative, is to keep telling the truth, and you have done that. Keep it up.
As a long-term reader and a life-long progressive, I have been greatly heartened and inspired by your last three columns.
As for the unfortunate letter you received, I wish I could write the definitive response. That it is not that we are poor losers. It is the catastrophic nature of our new president’s thinking and behavior. On January 27 the New York Times’ conservative columnist David Brooks refers to Trump as a coward and describes the Republican Party as group that “fears openness and competition.”
And a heartening response came from the original letterwriter, commenting on how that letter to the editor had been presented. “I like what you were able to do with my recent missive — that you were able to take a private grouse and put it to good public use! I hope all’s well and that it continues to be so!”
My final (I hope) thought: Grousing is a good thing.
#b#To the Editor: This Is America#/b#
Now more than ever I celebrate the diversity of our community. This is the time to reach out with kindness and compassion — especially to those who may be different. We are all immigrants!
We all have stories about being here today.
My grandparents left the shtetl and the czar in Russia more than 100 years ago and made it through Ellis Island for a life in New York that was not easy. So fortunate was I last night to be at a birthday dinner for a good friend. Among the guests: a young woman physician born in Turkey, a body therapist from Colombia, others born in Oslo and Italy. The rest of us from Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, the Bronx, and various New Jersey cities are all here because we had parents or grandparents who were allowed to become Americans.
Even our families have diversity. In my own family, several would not be here if immigration restrictions were more restrictive: my two beloved daughters-in-law from France and Taiwan, my nephew-in-law from Scotland, to name some.
Mr. Trump, take note. This is America. Brittany is America.
Spiegel is a writer and public relations professional. The letter above was directed to the homeowners association of the Brittany, a community of townhouses in Plainsboro.