I Refuse to Sit Idly By

Andy Bazzo, my pagemate in this newspaper, has consistently criticized Barack Obama and blamed him for a plethora of ills. I understand that Bazzo disagrees with Obama on major policy issues and may even dislike his style, but how can one not admire this president’s courageousness and caring in the face of tragedy and injustice (tested over and over again), his ambitious goals and hard-won accomplishments, his dignity, honesty, and strength of character?

Mr. Bazzo has never once acknowledged Barack Obama’s competence and grace under fire; rather, he has spent the last six months admiring and promoting the dictatorial tendencies of the Republican candidate for president to replace Obama, Donald Trump—a man with zero experience in the art of governance; someone who is loud and toxic about issues he opposes, yet rarely proposes any relevant or positive solutions.

Bazzo glorifies Trump, a man who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything other than himself and his own enrichment. He completely disregards Trump’s inconsistencies and contradictory promises, and overlooks his persistent lying. Bazzo seems star struck by this man’s ability to create an environment where truth just doesn’t seem to matter.

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Has Bazzo actually examined Trump’s character and determined that he is fit to be president? If so, then he has clearly chosen to ignore Trump’s insults towards veterans; his attacks against the press; his mocking of the handicapped; his denigration of women; and his outrage towards non-white immigrants. And what is Mr. Bazzo’s position on Trump’s declarations that he will punish women who have an abortion, and work to defeat marriage equality?

Bazzo kowtows to Trump—an infantile bully who frequently behaves boorishly—and legitimizes a man who initially refused to disavow David Duke, a white supremacist and leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Trump has also stated that, as leader of the free world, he is willing to abandon old and established alliances, treaties and long-standing international relationships. Trump’s lack of loyalty and honor is, apparently, OK with Mr. Bazzo.

I’m truly puzzled by those scared and powerless people who have flocked to Trump’s campaign in the mistaken belief that a fool’s wand can be waved and every complicated problem solved with the simplest of solutions. They can’t!

Mr. Bazzo is not the student of history he’d like us to believe. He surely hasn’t recognized Trump for what he is: one of the political animals who emerges every so often to campaign as an incipient fascist and nativist; a man who openly disrespects the judiciary; a man who feels women should not have authority over their own bodies; a man who will enthusiastically support voter suppression tactics; and a man who will blatantly tell people of color to take their place at the back of the line.

It’s extremely disappointing that the Republican Party has bought into Trump’s virulent strains of hate, and that too many in the media, including Mr. Bazzo, enthusiastically offer Trump a megaphone and a box to stand on. Hate is the disease of fallen empires! Why has the party of Lincoln, originally built on the ideals of shared sacrifice and trust, eroded so fast? 

Personally, I refuse to accept Trump’s insults to our cultural values. He is a stain on this nation and deserves to be broadly and soundly rejected. I also refuse to sit idly by without challenging Bazzo’s wrong-minded support of this angry, loud-mouthed and inflammatory blowhard. Our country deserves a president who possesses the character to be presidential, and that is clearly not Donald Trump.

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