Dangerous Nationalism

Feb 08, 2017

To the Editor:

I don’t need to reiterate all the adjectives being used to describe the person who was elected to the highest office in the land, but I think after what we have just seen taken place over the past three months, we folks need to rethink our expectations.

“Telling it like it is” does not mean you can tell it like you see it, if that means being untruthful.

“America First” does not mean denigrating everyone else who disagrees with you to make it so; we can be first among equals.

“Magical thinking” does not give license to creating “alternative facts.”

“Making America Great Again” should not entail demolition and rebuilding of our democracy. America was/is pretty great already; there is no need to trash our freedoms, integrity, liberty, values and principles in order to fine tune and further grow into the 21st century.

“Drain the swamp” sounds great but expresses a profound degree of contempt for our politicians, citizens, institutions and people in D.C. who are honest and hard working and devote their lives in service to our democracy.

Calling news “fake news” does not work when we the viewers can see and hear the words of those in power real time, live and unedited. We can only listen for so long as facts are created or distorted, questions are deflected, lies are told and then untold, and journalists are treated like the scum of the earth. That behavior shows contempt for us as a people. The government thinks we can be manipulated into belief and submission. We are not that dumb, and you’re not that smart.

America’s political democracy elected Donald Trump. The rest of the world, except maybe Russia, had no say in the election. The lives and livelihood of billions of people across the globe are affected by the words and actions of our presidents. Like it or not, our government has to follow conventions and rules of order to protect us and, like it or not, those who’ve come to depend on us.

I don’t want to see our government and its supporters’ newfound selfishness and nationalism lead to a repeat of the holocausts and genocides of the past. And, God forbid, we are the ones to foster it.

I am not the fearful type. I am not young anymore. I’ve lived my life for 60-plus years in a country I’ve always loved. The younger generations need a chance to live their lives in peace and enjoy the fruits of our society that were planted by the labor and courage of our forbearers over almost 2½ centuries.

Tom McArdle

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