Painful Decision

Mar 15, 2017

To the Editor:

I am a Vietnam-era veteran and I have no political party preference. Since 1972 I have voted my conscience for Democrats, Republicans and Independents. My preferred candidate has not always won the presidency, but no matter who became our president, I consistently attempted to show respect for the office and to the person holding that office.

I always believed that despite having differing opinions on major issues and concerns, the person holding the ultimate office was a patriot and had the best interests of the country at heart. Up to now no president in my lifetime possessed qualities and attributes that would prevent him from being president.

At times it was difficult to support these presidents, but given the privilege of free speech, I have always had the right to question the issues, concerns and the direction of our country without reprisal, as I am doing now.

Personally, I am at a crossroads where I cannot find it in my heart, my rational mind and my conscience to unequivocally support the current president. While I don’t enjoy being in this state of mind, I find it necessary, based on my beliefs, that the leader of this already great country be honest, trustworthy and ethical and have the best interests of all our citizens – all ethnicities, all races and all religions.

I do not believe, and I am sad to write, that our president comes anywhere near this description. There are many reasons for this decision, which, frankly, I wish I did not have to make, but this president’s continual misleading statements and validated lies, sophomoric and crude behavior, disparaging remarks to and about women, minorities, immigrants and the handicapped, and critical and insulting remarks about our closest and enduring allies leave me little choice.

Combine this with the president’s positive statements about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and I just shake my head in wonderment and angst.

Regardless of whether he realizes it, the president is a role model and, quite frankly, not one I would endorse for my daughters or anyone else about whom I care and want the best.

Why are we, as rational American citizens, tolerating this boorish and foolish behavior? Don’t American citizens see that this man’s values leave much to be desired? Don’t we recognize that this person has shown himself to be a selfish, self-serving bully who criticizes just about anyone who publicly disagrees with him?

As a patriot, a World War II veteran and the greatest man I have ever known, my father, if he was alive today, would be appalled at our president’s behavior and lack of character, integrity, empathy and compassion. My dad once told me, “You will never reach higher ground if you are always pushing others down.” The president should heed my father’s advice and look for the best in people and build them up instead of continually disparaging them and putting them down.

Continuing his behavioral path will only lead to further division of our country and alienation of our strongest allies, with the real possibility of a major multinational war.

Bill Green

Beach Haven

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