To the editor:
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it does!
I’m referring to the inexcusably dirty politics of today’s presidential race. We see more of it among GOP candidates, probably because so many are running. It’s also found among Democrats, such as Chelsea (Clinton)’s egregious lies about Bernie Sanders.
A new low occurred with recent attacks on President Obama by (at least) two Republicans. Dirty smear activities are despicable and irresponsible for many reasons. In a nation whose coinage affirms “e pluribus unum” (out of many, one) and whose people proclaim, “United we stand,” it’s destructively un-American to diminish others so viciously. In a campaign where every one wants to claim the moral “high ground,” it’s astonishing how those who want voters’ approval are so quick to forget their own integrity.
A recent chapter in gutter politics by two GOP candidates has unmasked their irresponsibility. The knee-jerk criticism of our president’s visit to a Muslim mosque is beyond comprehension. It should disqualify them from consideration for our nation’s highest office.
Donald Trump was so angry about the president’s peaceful overture that he even lied, saying the president “apologized” to the Muslims. Predictably, he gave no details – because there was no apology. We’ve grown used to Trump’s prevarications, but there was something more insidious about this attack.
Earlier in the campaign, Trump affirmed the need to find out why (some) Muslims hate us. At that point he understood our need to establish reconciliation with the world’s 1 billion Muslims. Now when President Obama shows leadership in building bridges with our Muslim citizenry here and our Muslim co-inhabitants of the planet, Trump becomes blind to such creative possibilities, and only panders to the fears of his supporters.
At least one other GOP candidate was just as irresponsible. Marco Rubio condemned the president’s bridge-building efforts, saying they were “dividing the nation.” It boggles the mind that one who wants to be president can have so little vision, so little leadership, so little courage to work at the very relation-building that our nation (and world) so desperately needs.
Yes, politics has gotten worse. One wonders if after presidential hopefuls have finished destroying good sense, good will, courageous vision and responsible action, there’ll be enough real unity and resolve left to keep building on the good things that are happening in our nation today.
William A. McCartney