Trump is damaging American hopefulness, equality

Published 7:53 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2019


Contributing columnist

“… with liberty and justice for all.”

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I love that phrase. It is a hopeful promise that all who pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

“… for all.”

It doesn’t say for some, or just for Christians, or just for men, or just for anything. It promises liberty and justice for ALL.

We live in a country where, currently, we have peaceful elections and peaceful transfers of power. Our country has stood as a beacon of hope to the world. Even with the current political divisiveness, people are clamoring to enter our country.

I started this column a couple of days ago and the above is as far I could get. My intention was to write a positive, hopeful piece about the great things happening in our country. One of the great things is that, for now, I can write pieces like this without censorship or concern over being jailed or killed. That is the reality for many who speak out against the government in their countries like Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Russia.

I wanted to write a piece about the freedoms we have that we often take for granted. But I saw photos of the humans held in squalid conditions in Trump’s camps. I watched a video where a white man pulled into the driveway of an African American family thinking he was going to give a bid on some construction work. This “man” had an actual, full-sized Confederate flag flying from the back of his vehicle. The lady of the house courageously and calmly told him she would not need his services. He offered to remove the flag. She insisted he leave. This isn’t freedom. These are actions of oppression and power by weak people.

My plan was to somehow use the Fourth of July to tie us all together into this once welcoming country that was seen as the land of opportunity. But I read where Trump is having a campaign rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C., at great expense to us, the taxpayers. The park service is redirecting its already limited funds to pay for an ego-boosting military parade for himself. I wonder who on his staff has to keep reminding him that he isn’t a general and no, he can’t wear a military uniform.

I grieve for our country. I grieve for all of the people who work more than one job in order to try to make ends meet. Employment is down, but the numbers do not account for the increasing number of adult workers who make only minimum wage. Vote after vote in Congress shoots down any chance of increasing the wage in order to help those folks who live in the margins.

Giant corporations are paying zero taxes that would offset the skyrocketing deficit while we the people pay more and more. I am not opposed to paying taxes. It’s the system that was created to keep our country productive and a world leader. But Trump uses our country to feed his personal greed.

I sit here today, in my air conditioned home, with limitless access to fresh, clean water; and the ability to jump into my car and drive as far as I want for thousands of miles. I have an excellent public education that was paid for with taxpayer money. I don’t have to haul water every morning from miles away. I don’t have to clean my clothes in river water. When it rains, my home is toasty dry.

Many, many of us are living daily lives of infinite freedom, but many, many more are not. I worry about the future of our country with a “leader” who thinks he’s the smartest person in the room and won’t listen to those who are charged with keeping our country safe. I worry when the “leader” of our country name-calls anyone and everyone who dares to challenge him. The “leader” of our country is aligning himself with dictators and actively alienates our allies.

I am worried about the future of our country, that so many are willfully ignorant to what Trump and his regime are doing. His philosophy of some deserve more than others based on the color of their skin is dangerous. He is damaging America, one tweet at a time.

“No one is free until we all are free.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

G. Elaine Wilson-Reddy, JD, is a professional educator, consultant and advocate. She lives in Danville.