Vote for American values by voting against Trump

Published 8:55 am Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dear Editor,

My decision on who to vote for this November has been shaped by my entire life. I was a World War II baby; my Army dad did not meet me until I was 6 months old. I grew up in a patriotic family during the Cold War years, practicing air raid drills and knowing the location of air raid shelters.

Family, school, church and Girl Scouts formed by chracter. I learned about the Statue of Liberty and its quote wecoming immigrants — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” Its message, not unlike “E pluribus unum” — out of many, one captures our strength and creativity as a diverse nation.

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In church, I learned to welcome the alien and I gave my pennies for the impoverished throughout the world. I took to heart my Girl Scout pledge to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, to be honest, friendly and helpful, to respect others, to make the world a better place.

With these  old-fashioned American values engrained even in my childhood, I find it extremely disturbing that one of our presidential candidates, Donald Trump, expresses his greatest admiration for dictators such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. Trump not only does not welcome immigrants but also wants to build walls between us and Mexico.

He castigates Mexicans, Muslims, refugees, veterans and anyone who slights him by calling them names. His business dealings, lying and cheating appall me. I find it loathsome for a U.S. presidential candidate to intimate that an acceptable solution to a challenge is to engage in violence.

Many former Republican government officials concur that Mr. Trump is not representative of our highest ideals and would present a danger for our nation and the world.

In the 1950s, Pastor Martin Niemoller, who had been held in a German concentration camp for seven years, wrote, “First they came for the Socialists, but I was not a Socialist so I didn’t speak up…then they came for the Jews…but I was not a Jew so I didn’t speak up… then they came for me, but there was no one left to speak up.”

We are at a crossroads. It is important to vote for someone who shares the values upon which the United States we know and love continues to be formed. In other words, someone other than Donald Trump.

Virginia Eklund