In the 1850s, Abraham Lincoln reiterated Christ's message that "a house divided cannot stand" in his famous "House Divided" speech that catapulted him to national prominence. Today, America stands more divided than any time since the Civil War.
Look no further than the pages of this paper for the abyss that prevents us from listening and only ascribes the worst motives to anyone who disagrees. We live in a culture that assumes a mistake is a deliberate lie instead of repeating a cliché that turns out to be incorrect. One such cliché I took for granted came from a statement by Karl Rove, which I'd misinterpreted it to mean a majority of white Americans voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. A letter writer corrected that: A majority of whites did not vote for Obama in either year ("For the record," Dec. 24).
However, a larger point was missed: When analyzed by age groups, you find that younger voters by age categories consistently voted in greater numbers for Obama than those in older age groups, according to the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.
Racism is a dying philosophy in America.
That puts the lie to the fantasy that America is an inherently racist country and has made little progress in race relations. Older Americans were taught many myths about Black Americans, reinforced by Hollywood stereotypes, family attitudes, and institutional structures designed to divide us and keep us apart. Younger Americans, after 50 years of integration, are steadily demonstrating acceptance of others and revulsion toward attitudes that dehumanize. There are exceptions, but the exceptions are a fringe element that 99 percent of us would prefer not be our neighbors.
Racism is learned; it is a product of ignorance, insecurity, and myths. It has to be taught. No child is inherently born a racist because of their color. Racism is a social construct, and it can be unlearned, as can all the attendant myths with time and familiarity. America has been working on this, quite successfully, in my opinion, until those with an agenda use race to tear us apart.
I didn't vote for President Obama in 2008 nor 2012. His race was irrelevant; his ideology and campaign platform were everything. Leftists can't deal with that and must impugn the character of anyone who didn't jump on board to elect the first Black president. Obama proved my misgivings to be correct in every category: economics, social policy, and foreign policy. Obama's presidency resulted in a gravely weakened America and a catastrophe for the Middle East, a disaster that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Syria at the bloody hands of the Islamic State (ISIS) along with the ISIS mass kidnapping and rape of thousands of young women.
Obama's social policies were an abomination to me and to millions of people of faith, especially as executed by his political appointees. Obama had an enormous opportunity to unite us, but instead never missed an opportunity to divide us along lines of race and economic class. He left us a weakened nation and paved the way for the Trump presidency.
The delusional left is steadfast in its assertion that Trump is a racist and moral reprobate, entangled with nefarious foreign connections. He is not and is little different from other powerful or popular men elected to high office. (Remember the Kennedys? They were womanizers all.) One writer waxed nostalgically for a Hillary Clinton victory, disparaging Trump's election as proof of American racism/sexism ("Alive and well," Dec. 17). For those of us who followed Hillary's career closely, we saw an ambitious, cold, calculating, dishonest politician obsessed with power, a danger to the freedom and security of all Americans. There are lots of conservative, principled women I would gladly vote for, but never Hillary.
The writer also asserts in these pages that Trump apologized for neo-Nazis at the Charlottesville riot, which he didn't. The media continuously edit his comments in which he strenuously condemned the Nazi/antifa elements while attempting to point out that the third element, local citizens, had good people on both sides of the argument regarding validity of Civil War statues.
Trump has condemned racists/Nazis no fewer than 19 times in speeches during his presidency, which the national media refused to report.
In contrast to the Obama administration, which appeased Russia and sent nonlethal aid to the Ukraine in response to Russian aggression, the Trump administration sent anti-armor weapons, which Ukrainians used to kill Russian-backed insurgents. Trump also based American troops in Poland, warning Russia to desist from threatening the Baltic States. In the Middle East Obama's advisors said defeating ISIS was too hard: Trump unleashed the American military and defeated ISIS in 90 days, rescuing thousands of young women subjected to the most barbaric treatment under ISIS captivity.
Trump's economic policy produced the strongest economy in my lifetime, and were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 would have been a banner year.
The year 2020 was the pits, Trump is leaving, the left's delusions continue. I fear 2021 will be worse, and I'm an optimist. Δ
Al Fonzi had a 35-year military career, serving in both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Respond with a letter to the editor emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.