As I look at the political polls, I am amazed and disappointed to see that roughly 40 percent of American voters are supporting Donald Trump. I often wonder and ask myself, who are these people, these voters who support this con man’s message of hate, bigotry and divisiveness? I don’t believe that Trump simply arrived on the scene and suddenly changed people’s minds to follow him. This message has been cultivated for quite some time by the Republican Party, and they alone bear the responsibility for the rise of Donald Trump. For the last several years they have allowed fringe and extreme factions to take over the party of Lincoln. They have promoted obstructionism, have given voice to birthers, to conspiracy theorists, to the Tea Party and now to Alt-Right groups that have roots in white nationalism and white supremacy.
I acknowledge that all people and politicians have their faults. This newspaper publishes a steady stream of hate letters from its readers about their perceived faults of Hillary Clinton, and of course, Glenn McCoy is always there to provide vile and distorted caricatures of Mrs. Clinton. What amazes me though, is the “false equivalency” between candidates that both the Clinton haters and McCoy espouse. Do Trump supporters really think Trump is better than Clinton? Do they truly embrace his message of lies, greed, hate and division? There is an old Pueblo Indian saying: “Tell me who you walk with, and I will tell you who you are.”
Mark St. Ivany, Belleville