Always vote for honesty and integrity

EDITOR:

From the Southern Poverty Law Center: President Trump said at a conference on sanctuary cities recently: “These are not people. These are animals.” His insinuation that immigration status or criminal record somehow determines humanity is not only appalling – it’s dangerous. We’ve heard this dehumanizing rhetoric before. During the Holocaust, the Nazis called Jews Untermenschen – subhumans. Before the Rwandan genocide, Tutsis were called “cockroaches.” And just recently in our own country, we learned that extremists behind a bomb plot to kill Somali Muslims called their intended victims “cockroaches.”

Dehumanizing rhetoric — unacceptable from anyone — is especially dangerous when it comes from the mouth of the (our) president.” The person who is perhaps the most powerful individual in the free world, who has admitted making up stories to tell Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau, who lies repeatedly, is going to “meet“, “negotiate“, “discuss“, “plan“, etc., with leaders on the world stage, who totally lacks integrity. Kim Jong Un is not going to trust him, nor is Putin, nor should the leaders of any country. Trump’s word cannot be trusted, which leaves the United States totally untrustworthy in diplomatic matters. An immature President who terminates our Secretary of State via a worldwide Tweet? He didn’t have the guts to sit down and discuss it man to man? Rex Tillerson summed it up at his commencement address at the Virginia Military Academy Commencement “If our leaders seek to conceal the truth or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom.

This is the life of nondemocratic societies comprised of people who are not free to seek the truth. We know them well. Societies in Russia, China, Iran, North Korea. When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem to be the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America. If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders in both public and private sector. And regrettably even at times in the nonprofit sector, then American democracy, as we know it is entering its twilight years. If our leaders seek to conceal the truth or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom.” And, remember when Trump said he was going to “drain the swamp?” Well, the top 1 percenters are zooming around the swamp in their airboats, hauling in huge bags of swamp money. The swamp is overflowing. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump together collected $82 million in outside income while “serving” in the White House last year. Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson (Wy) has a nice perspective “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” Always vote for honesty and integrity.

Gerry Niedermaier

Gladstone