To counteract the harm of bullying, our schools cultivate empathy, putting oneself in another’s shoes. Trump has mimicked the disabled, demeaned Mexicans, insulted women, spoke of shooting and punching people. Were Trump in my class, I’d report his dangerous behavior. Since the Trump campaign, bullying has increased; we imitate what we see and hear. The unifying theme at RNC was not an economic plan but demonization of Hillary, a chorus screaming “liar,” “jail her,” “kill her.” As a possible president, Trump is terrifying – his arrogance, inexperience, ignorance and contempt.
Thoughtful debate over issues is essential for democracy, but hatred is impervious to reason, a death wish for the “chosen” cast out group. The Nazis knew if one keeps repeating a lie, people will believe it. For years Trump questioned Obama’s citizenship and religion. For 25 years the Republicans have attacked Hillary – for fraud, conspiracy, Benghazi, emails – spending millions on investigations and trials but never proving any illegal behavior. I’ve disagreements with Hillary’s hawkish foreign policy but immense respect for her continued hard work for children, families, health and justice. But with hate – misogyny, racism – it doesn’t matter what someone says or does. I want to hear discussion over real issues, not bullies threatening violence.
I loved the incredible diversity of age, class, type, color at the Democratic Convention, an inclusiveness welcoming all. In nature, diversity, interconnection and interdependence are the life force. A monoculture under rigid authority and control results in sterility and death.
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I hope Hillary does what she promises – economic, racial, gender justice, and water and earth rights. I fear Trump will do what he promises: a Putin-like violence, building walls, denigrating others, bankrupting our economy and democracy. I will work hard for my hope, the alternative too dangerous.
“If you see something, say something.”
Bernice Mennis, West Fort Ann