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Letters: When Trump comes to town

Johnson City Press • Oct 7, 2018 at 6:00 AM

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Things are looking up

President Trump is the first president in the last 50 years to fulfill his campaign promises. He did this with Democrats and some Republicans resisting his efforts. There is a whole list from job growth, stock market gain, low unemployment for all race groups, tax reform, improved trade deals, all resulting in a positive outlook for the future.

ALBERT SPALLER
Johnson City

What family values is Trump for?

I took my place against the fence with other protesters around 4 p.m. My sign said: “Climate Change, Requires Change, Not more of the same.” The sidewalk was crowded with folks in their Trump gear and entire families with kids in tow. Many parents understandably wanted their kids to have the opportunity to see our president in person. Most folks filing by just ignored us or read some of the signs and walked on. I did get a few thumbs up from folks concerned about the environment. Only a few, in the hours I stood, there were an antagonistic (i.e. name-calling), but I have been called worse over the years.

After Trump arrived at Freedom Hall, I headed home to watch the proceeding on TV. While listening to his speech, all I could think of were the young kids listening to our president speak so vilely and crudely about candidates for office who disagree with him. This is not a good role model for our children. It is not “family values.” We all may have had a “nasty name” we called our brother or sister when we were growing up. However, if we called him or her that name in front of your parents we were quickly reprimanded. Although he used the term frequently, “family values” is not the way the president speaks.

HARVEY STONE
Johnson City

How about a little empathy?

While protesting Oct. 1, I have never quite experienced such a hateful terror as the rally for Donald Trump. Even standing with nearly 1,000 protesters, I never for a moment felt safe. We were not permitted to engage or provoke the rally attendees whose veins stiffened in their necks, shouting obscene names, rape threats and racial slurs, stating we should be ashamed for expressing ourselves. Trump-women walked behind their husbands/partners in matching MAGA attire to the rally’s queue, glaring at women protesters. Prepubescent boys ran by us shouting schoolyard-bully slurs, one informing my colleague that his “Equal Healthcare for All” sign was “stupid.” My protest sign read, “Empathy” — a word I, about a dozen times, heard rally-goers ask their companions the meaning of.

I recall the week in fifth-grade history exposing us to the Holocaust. Students cried after video clips. After the Holocaust lessons, however, some students began bullying me about a star I’d previously painted on my backpack, calling me “Jew,” telling me they were going to put me in an oven, calling me “witch.” Such senseless history-blindness from children begins in places like Monday’s rally. The comfort of ignorance accelerates this regression, not challenging one to introspection, to examine the past’s devastation and consciously avoid contributing to its repetition. Today’s availability of knowledge makes empathy easier, but we, perhaps, must also make our patience more available, as, generally, one seeks to arrive at an alleviating insight after recalling said Monday and fifth-grade’s Holocaust week, but it isn’t yet foreseeable without everyone else who cares continuing to work against hate.

DANIELLE BYINGTON
Johnson City

Who pays for the rally?

The visit of the president to Johnson City is certainly exciting, but let us recognize it for what it is: a campaign fundraiser for the Republican candidate for the Tennessee Senate. The event required an incredible amount of security. Who paid for it? The Blackburn campaign? No! Whether you wanted to or not, you as a taxpayer subsidized her campaign.

DENNIS ROSOLOWSKI
Johnson City

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