Letters to the Editor: Trump 12.29.16

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Distant From the Truth

East Hampton

December 26, 2016

To the Editor,

As a young man I had a mentor, and when we disagreed he said, “I may not be right, but I’m consistent.” This is a perfect description of the Donald. He is consistently distant from the truth, consistent in his refusal to supply his tax returns so the public can understand how his myriad of business relationships might create conflicts of interest in every aspect of his policy proposals, consisently anti-immigrant, and virulently anti-Muslim.

This list could be a lot longer, but he is best described by Charles Blow, in a New York Times op-ed piece, as an unstable, unqualified, and an undignified demagogue.

His first major appointment, Steve Bannon, has shown himself to be racist, a misogynist, xenophobic, and an anti-Semitic white nationalist. One wonders what about this history was attractive to Donald. When asked about this appointment, our Jewish congressman, Representative Lee Zeldin, was unavailable to comment. Says a lot about him.

Looking at some of his cabinet appointees, most of whom have no government experience, it appears they will be looking after the interest of big business and Wall Street rather than the rest of us. In a future letter we can look at each of them and what they stand for or, better yet, what they are against.

I have a T-shirt that says in bold letters, “We Deserve the People We Elect.” I don’t think so.

STEPHEN A. GROSSMAN

Deeper and Murkier

Montauk

December 24, 2016

Dear David,

I must admit that I never thought that Donald Trump, a buffoonish demagogue, would ever be elected to the American presidency. Obviously, I totally misread the political pulse of the American electorate. 

Although Mr. Trump claimed that the election was rigged, we must acknowledge that he won fair and square — almost. I just wonder how much of a role those pesky Trump hacker-allies in Russian intelligence played in the election. And let us not forget James Comey of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s timely announcement that the agency was taking another look at Hillary Clinton’s emails that were uncovered in the Weinergate investigation. 

Unfortunately, when given power, buffoonish demagogues can be very dangerous, but for now I choose to be amused at Mr. Trump’s tweets and actions. I particularly enjoy his contributions to the English language. 

I am still hard at work deciding whether “bigly” is a noun, adjective, or adverb; “unpresidented” still has me stumped. I do know that the use of “sieg” and “heil” have made a remarkable comeback in some areas of the country. I have even heard that some Breitbart-allied organizations have made “Springtime for Hitler” their official drinking song.

I was also amused to see how, despite a promise to “drain the swamp,” Mr. Trump has actually made the swamp deeper and murkier by appointing many of the political elite to head agencies that they despise or have vowed to dismantle. By far the best was his choice of Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy. One can only hope that Mr. Perry can remember that there actually is a Department of Energy. 

My biggest disappointment with cabinet selections, however, was that that Chris Christie, Mr. Trump’s most loyal puppy, was not appointed to head the Department of Transportation. He would have made our bridges great again.

As for foreign affairs, we shall see. Perhaps Mr. Trump will become Valdimir Putin’s Neville Chamberlain in exchange for some good hotels, golf courses, and Exxon drilling rights in Siberia. Then again, if Trump gets angry, he just might start firing some nuclear weapons. That is not funny; that is scary.

Cheers,

BRIAN POPE 

Our Democratic Process

East Hampton

December 23, 2016

Dear David, 

Hope all is well with you. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I can see by your editorial “The Aftermath” that The East Hampton Star does not shine for all. It seems that you have fallen into the pack of crybabies, losers, and left-wing jerkos that are not satisfied or believe in our electoral system. 

Could you just imagine if Clinton had won and the Republicans were pulling this bullshit with recounts by Jill Stein and “the Russians are coming”? Mr. Trump won fair and square, even though you folks don’t think so. Did you or would you be writing editorials against Clinton or Obama? Our demo­cratic process brought him into office, and that’s the end of that. 

If you and your people aren’t happy about that, then in four years you can get going and vote him out. It’s a process, and it works. Do you have a candidate in mind for 2020? If not, perhaps you should start planning a few fund-raisers starting this summer and see what you come up with. 

Mr. Trump has four years to try and correct the deficiencies and delinquencies of Obama and the Clintons: pay and play, Haiti, the drug dealers with commuted sentences, it goes on and on. If he doesn’t live up to his promises, we the people vote him out. It obviously works, after seeing Clinton lose when all thought she was a winner. 

But you see, the people were tired of all the political nonsense, and especially where their money goes in the form of taxes, with close to 50 percent of the population on some sort of handout, especially people entering the country illegally. I for one am tired of paying. Look at our local schools and the overcrowding! Where do all these kids come from? They sure as hell aren’t Bonackers! 

We can’t educate and medicate every soul who enters the country. So Mr. Trump was elected. The people spoke. Give him support and a chance. You of all people should embrace that. 

Yours to command,

JEFFREY R. PLITT 

Then and Only Then

Springs

December 20, 2016

Dear Editor,

To those of our neighbors and friends who voted for Donald Trump, I say be careful of what you wished for, you probably will get it, and then and only then realize that your Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, etc.,  are in jeopardy or will be taken from you.

I don’t know why any working guy or gal could not see through this narcissistic billionaire and his con job on the American people. But you will, I promise. Then and maybe then you will see that the party of the working middle and underclass had always been and always will be the Democratic Party. You are always welcome.

LARRY S. SMITH

Who Is Responsible?

East Hampton

December 20, 2016

Dear David,

There is a great amount of unease in the United States. When families have two jobs and still are struggling. When college costs a fortune and requires student loans at incredibly high rates. When consumer prices have jumped dramatically high and make it uncomfortable to even buy food at the supermarket. When corporate America seems to treat citizens as suckers they can fleece. 

Yes, I voted for Hillary Clinton. My first choice was Bernie Sanders, but I had no huge problem switching to Hillary as an alternative to Donald Trump. She has empathy for all people and a history of working with politicians on all sides. She is also tough militarily.

I consider Donald Trump to be a bully, not caring who he steamrolls over to get his way. When anyone disagreed with him, he attacked them, not on their policy differences but on a personal level. Jeb was “low energy,” Ted was “lyin’,” Marco was “little,” Fiorina had an ugly face, Hillary was “crooked.” He also makes snap decisions about issues that should require thought and wisdom. That will get him and our government in trouble. He is also appointing a lot of severely unqualified people to head departments, such as Mr. Flynn and Dr. Carson.

So, who is responsible for Hillary’s loss?

Hillary, for the wrong message, making social changes a priority. Social issues are important, but good-paying jobs, and more of them, is far more important to voters. Her rich speaker fees, her dumb and arrogant use of a private email server.

Bill Clinton, for his affairs and his meddling in her campaign and calling Obamacare “crazy.” And for his greed — high speaker fees, high payouts from corporations, including tens of millions from a for-profit educational corporation. 

Chelsea Clinton, for accepting an entry-level job with NBC for an annual salary of $600,000 a year, as if she was really worth it and not because she is a Clinton. Did she really think her job experience was worth $600,000 a year?

The media, for putting ratings over truth. “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, for praising Trump in a partisan way before pivoting and bashing Trump after he blackballed them. Fox News for being almost totally partisan, especially Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. Right-wing radio that spouts lie after lie. CNN for giving Trump billions of dollars of free air time, and for putting on campaign surrogates who were more interested in spinning a story than telling the truth. Corey Lewandowski was being paid by the Trump campaign at the same time he was on salary from CNN.

The Tea Party and the whole Republican Party, for blocking reasonable legislation and reasonable Supreme Court justices, and for promoting deregulation of corporate oversight. It was lack of regulation and supervision that got us into the Great Recession. The S.E.C. couldn’t even figure out Madoff was a fraud after being handed indisputable proof of it.

Also the Republicans, for constantly and persistently perpetuating lies about Hillary, such as her role in the Benghazi killings while she wassecretary of state.

Politicians on both sides, for not addressing the real concerns of Americans, such as jobs and manufacturing leaving the U.S.

What is the reason for Trump’s success? Strip away the bullying, his anti-Muslim and Hispanic stances, and his racist, birther, anti-black positions, and you’re left with the real reasons why Donald Trump won. He promised to bring back good-paying manufacturing jobs to the United States. And if he is able to do that, he will be the first president to do that in decades.

His followers say he will be good because he’s a businessman, not a politician. Well, both Bushes were successful businessmen, and Bush the second was a real disaster as president, maybe the worst in history. Trump also promised to be much tougher on ISIS.

I used to ride the train between New York and Philadelphia for many years. And I would pass many brick manufacturing buildings that were totally empty. Those jobs are long gone, shipped to other countries with lower-wage workers and the profits going to management and stockholders. It used to be, Henry Ford kept the price of his cars low so his workers could afford them. These days, management has no feeling for its workers.

How can the Democrats regain the support of workers, who are traditionally Democratic? Stop catering to corporations and come up with ideas to create new manufacturing jobs, service jobs, and retraining for laid-off workers. Also, make college and vocational schools affordable. Make sure students loans are at reasonable rates. Democrats must rebuild from the bottom up, since they won’t be able to pass legislation.

The Trump Republican Party will reveal itself for who they are after a while, with their appointments and legislative changes. We will see which class of people really benefits from the new administration — what cronies get sweetheart deals, what cronies enrich themselves. I will keep an open mind and am hoping for the best.

LARRY SPECTOR

Someone Who Tweets

East Hampton

December 26, 2016

Perhaps the only thing that can prevent the misogynist racist pig from entering the White House on Jan. 20 is a “No Pigs Allowed” sign that President Obama leaves at the front gate. The piggishness has reached an unacceptable level that threatens the basic operation and coherence of the government. It is quite serious when the president-elect trashes a union leader who calls him out for lying about the number of jobs he didn’t really save. Donald Trump’s reaction to being caught in a lie is to belittle and threaten the accuser. Yikes. He’s the bloody president, not some jerk in the street. Or is he?

More serious and certainly a step beyond the no-pigs category is the president-elect’s response to the C.I.A. report on Russian tampering and influencing the election. This is not piddling crap. This is espionage, sabotage, treason.

Russia is the underlying conundrum for Mr. Trump. So much circulates around Russia and Vladimir Putin that everything else seems piddling in comparison — the complexity of Russia when viewed through the simpleminded lens of a serial tweeter. Tweeters, by definition, live in the present. Our Russian context has a past, a present, and a future. When you tweet the world is static. When you tweet politics you are an imbecile at best.

So to criticize the Russian hacking of our system, in the mind of a tweeter, is to delegitimize his victory. While the real issue is not who was hacked but the hacking itself and who may be hacked in the future. “Duh” is too complicated a response for someone who tweets to grasp.

Yet Mr. Trump genuflecting before Mr. Putin at a Miss America pageant in Moscow and his frequent praise of the Russian autocrat defies non-tweeting logic. Having half a dozen advisers who had strong and questionable connections to Mr. Putin has to beg the question. Choosing our nation’s representatives who are on the board of a Russian gas company is genuinely bizarre.

Criticizing our North Atlantic Treaty Organization relationships over who pays dues is again a simplistic static tweet set. Our NATO relationships have seen numerous permutations and realignments. 

Most of Eastern Europe, which was once under Soviet control, relies on NATO for some level of security. Western Europe, which was defenseless in 1949, has provided a buffer and deterrent to Russia’s aggressive policies, which have also substantially changed over the past 70 years or so. That Mr. Trump questions NATO in his tweet set makes one think that maybe it’s Moscow that does his tweeting for him.

Nuclear arms simply stagger the imagination. Seventy years trying to understand and control the horrors of a nuclear conflict go up in a single deranged tweet. Ten trillion dollars was the cost to try and attain a level of nuclear stability. Russia, as the only serious nuclear threat that could survive, barely, a nuclear war, is again in the forefront. All Russia has is oil, gas, and a nuclear arsenal. 

Like ours Russia’s nuclear arsenal is big enough to blow up the world five or six times — only this is a one-shot deal. Once and it’s over. Once is enough. No more world, no more people, no more tweeting (the only good fallout). Is the tweeter-in-chief unfit to lead the country, like most of the military and intelligence community have stated? Is there any question?

So, we ask President Obama to perform a last service for the country by pinning a “No Pigs Allowed” sign on the front door of the White House. A Russian translation might also be necessary. 

NEIL HAUSIG