Regardless of one’s political perspectives, opinions, and/ or preferences, few would argue, the overall tone, is often set, by the example, elected officials either personally set, or, are perceived to be setting! While this has, probably, always been the case, it has become more abundantly evident, this year, because we have never witnessed a President, like Donald Trump, in terms of background, behavior, tone, rhetoric, level of vitriol, tendency to blame and complain (and throw someone under the proverbial, bus), lack of conventional behavior/ conduct, and tendencies, which have stirred severe emotional behavior, whether someone likes/ approves of the man, or, quite the contrary! During normal times, most of us overlook, or take these occurrences, with somewhat of a grain of salt, unless/ until it directs impacts our personal, or perceived, self – interest. However, these are anything but usual or normal times, and this President, is totally unpredictable, nor behaves as we expect our President’s to! We will try to examine and briefly review, some of the circumstances/ situations, where there is so much impact, because of the moral and ethical behavior, political and elected leaders have so much importance.
1. Human rights: Although America is a nation of laws, based on freedoms, elected officials have much to do, regarding enforcing laws, and regulations, and setting, both actual, as well as perceived tones, observed keenly, by their constituents. As we have observed this year, Trump’s core followers, and strongest supporters, obviously believe in his rhetoric and promises. One might believe, as I do, one of the principal attractions of this man, is he appeals to what his supporters hope for, wishing to be true, and limiting the rights of those, they have come to believe, hurt their chances, economically, professionally, and, perhaps, anything else, which troubles them! However, we must all understand, America was founded on certain freedoms, and it is wrong to pick – and – choose, and selectively enforce laws, to fit one’s agenda!
2. Insurance debate: Few would argue, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) has significant flaws. However, it is important to understand, why it was passed, in the first place, which was to address, providing health care, to the many uninsured, or under – insured Americans! When candidate, Trump, promised the electorate, he could fix it, like no one else, and it would be easy to do, many of those, feeling overlooked by the process, wanted to believe, and combined with the hatred, many of these individuals, seemed to have for President Obama (policy, racial, etc?), wanted less expensive, better insurance, which served their interests (whether it helped the nation, as a whole, or not), However, one wonders why they continued to believe in his promises, after the alternative to the ACA, was tens of millions of uninsured, little protection for those with pre – existing conditions, even poorer laws, and nearly nothing, positive, provided!
3. Islamic – phobia: Unfortunately, quite often, many people prefer to blame and complain, rather than create viable solutions, which address priorities, needs and concerns! Just as, in many historical instances, people seek scapegoats, to blame for their woes, Trump has stoked the fires of hatred, bigotry, etc, and blamed all Muslims, for the horrific behavior of a very small minority of those who follow, and believe, in Islam. Remember, since Islam is the world’s largest religion, if, indeed, all were as our President and his most ardent followers, claim and/ or believe, how might anyone put up significant, meaningful resistance?
4. Nazis; White Supremacists; Alt – Right: While most honorable people abhor the behavior of Nazis, White Supremacists, and members of the so – called, Alt – RIght, the tone, rhetoric, and refusal to more strongly condemn violence and terrorism, as exhibited recently in Charlottesville, have sent a signal, this President may be, an ally to those with these horrific attitudes, and behaviors. Anyone who can say, Many good people, were among the demonstrators, and the attempt to place blame on both sides, clearly set an Anti – American tone!
Politicians and elected officials, come and go, and some, each of us might either support or oppose (or be somewhat neutral about). However, we have come to a point in our history, where the very soul of this nation, is being called into question! How will we respond, and what will the result be, both on an immediate and longer – term basis? When will some common sense prevail?