Restore Decency

The upcoming election is our opportunity to restore some semblance of decency in our national affairs. We are treated on an almost daily basis to a president who delights in calling people insulting names and mocking them. He seems to believe in the fallacy that by pulling others down you build yourself up. He has disparaged whole groups of people and has insulted most of our international allies at one time or another. The damage to our country’s reputation is immense.

If it was just the president hurling insults it would be bad enough but perhaps we could simply write it off as the juvenile behavior unworthy of any leader. Unfortunately this meanspirited ugliness has begun to permeate our national life. If the president can insult and disparge at will, why not his followers – or his opponents. It seems to have become acceptable behavior call each other names and to harass groups identified by the president as less than worthy. In today’s political climate the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazi party have emerged from the shadows to become resurgent once again.

Even our own quiet and tolerant community is not immune to this bigoted trend. I personally know of two young girls who have been harassed by total strangers. One was told to stop speaking Spanish, while the other was told to “Go back home!” (She is a born US citizen but has Asian features.) I know of a respected Hispanic man who says he now dreads going out in public fearing some form of harassment from a stranger. These ‘super-patriots’ no doubt see themselves as advancing the president’s agenda. However all they are doing is sowing division and tarnishing the image of America.

It is up to us voters to repudiate the mean-spiritedness that has filtered down into our national life. Send a strong message to the president that his behavior and the example that he has set are simply not acceptable. We are a better people than he would have us be. In this regard, kudos to Mary Faith Bell and Adam Schwend for their pledge to run a civil campaign for county commissioner.

John Rogan, Tillamook