Letters to the Editor: Convention 07.28.16

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Woe to Our Country

Sag Harbor

July 25, 2016

To the Editor:

The Republican so-called convention reminded me of clips from fascist rallies by Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930s. Never before has a convention of a major party become such a hate fest.

It was more like a scene out of third-world banana republics where the dictators recommend locking up or murdering their opposition. Yet the evangelicals, so-called good Christians and others, suck up this manure with relish.

Woe to our beloved country if Trump were ever elected. The blatant lies and distortions of this charlatan fearmonger would be a mockery for all who have fought and died to protect our shared values.

ED JABLONSKY

A Serious Insult

East Hampton

July 24, 2016

To the Editor:

The Donald’s choice of “America First” as a slogan shows his complete ignorance of history and is a serious insult to those old enough to remember this pro-Nazi movement. If it wasn’t an ignorant choice, it says a lot about his campaign.

STEPHEN GROSSMAN

Confabulations!

Springs

July 25, 2016

Dear David,

Confabulations, Republican Party! Your reality TV show has anointed its leader and He appointed Mike the Baptist, who mumbled humbly before Him, pre-convention, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”

“I have a message for all of you. I am your voice,” He declared unto the world. “I am the law and order.” He held His tiny hands aloft, proclaiming, “The day after I take the oath of office the laws of the United States will be enforced. I know the time has come for action. I alone can fix it. I make this promise; I am going to make this country rich, again! I will win for you. Believe Me.”

I predict the saga of this Republican convention will become the Number Three Best-Selling Book ever written, after the Bible and “The Art of the Deal,” of course.

So I say, “Confabulations to the 2016 Republican Party and to all in Cleveland who came to adore Him.” You’ve given the Democratic Party a winning slogan: “Not Insane.” 

If only Roger Ailes could have been there. We really have him to thank for Him.

ALEX MILLER

Wouldn’t Give a Whit

Sag Harbor

July 24, 2016

Dear David,

Like many, I was glued to the TV watching the Republican National Convention for four days. For me, Friday was deeply disturbing, realizing this wasn’t the passing phenomena as most of the people I know seem to think. 

My friend Anne, a committed Dem, a daughter of a New Jersey unionist father and Democratic committeeman, dislikes Hillary. She resents the fact she will be forced to vote for Hillary, as it would be completely unthinkable to vote for the deeply ignorant Donald Trump. Even without his longtime hauteur and arrogance, his spoiled-brat persona, and a staggering self-indulgence, he wouldn’t give a whit what poor and working people have thrown in their faces routinely by a celebrity-driven media, seemingly unconcerned by the viciousness of the rich and their coarsening of community.

You see, Anne believes Hillary should have left Bill after her public humiliation over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Strangely, she admires Bill. Yet, Anne greatly admires Eleanor Roosevelt, too, who remained with F.D.R. long after she found out about his affair. Well, that was different, Anne might say. And it was and it wasn’t. Eleanor went on to build a safer, more equitable world, leaving a progressive legacy few in the 20th century could match. 

I believe Hillary might well leave an even greater humanitarian legacy. We’ve known of Trump’s ugly values for a long time, from his golden thrones, trophy girlfriends and wives, to his ostentatious toys: limos, jets, helicopters, spas, etc. his own name emblazoned upon the skyline. He refuses to acknowledge climate change by man-made environmental desecration, criticizing the pope for saying climate change was the most important moral issue of our times. He believes Pope Francis should stay out of politics. Of course he, the ignorant Donald, is a buffoon, and you might say, who cares what he says since we know beyond any doubt he doesn’t care what comes out of his mouth, his self-regard is so blinding.

His contempt for the progressive Pope Francis is of a piece with his ignorance, celebrated by some of his fellow Republicans. Born of the manor, the Donald believes he is deeply entitled, inheriting millions of dollars from his openly racist daddy while still a youth. Not only his dad but Donald himself would not allow a black or brown person to buy one of their affordable homes in the New York area. He twice was forced by the U.S. Justice Department to stop refusing minorities entry and paying stiff fines among other settlements with the government. 

The Donald is the character in Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” the duke swooping in with his sycophantic courtier entourage, singing a pretty tune (“La donna é mobile”) while all about him bodies fall, landing away from his view.

Still, this Sunday morning, the fear and foreboding of the past week lifted. After seeing Hillary and Kaine on TV in Miami, listening to Kaine’s brilliant introduction yesterday, I am relieved and reassured after Trump’s angry harangue, a red-faced, pink-haired acceptance speech. I thought he might be able to continue stirring up the remnants of an age-old racism in white America that justified centuries of slavery and a degraded theology of inequality. It brings to the fore angry and resentful people, convinced their entitlements and privileges are being threatened by a rising minority of non-whites. I thought until yesterday the Trumpeting neo-fascist bombast could put him in the White House. 

If anyone here did not get a chance to view Kaine’s presentation on Saturday in Miami, go to Youtube.com to watch. You will be heartened and buoyed by his sensibility and brilliance, informed by his religious Catholic fulcrum of social justice. It will convince you that Trump has no chance to inflict his Mussolini cadences and strong-man disdain upon our country. He will not win here, as Trump’s entire philosophy of social justice is his dichotomy of life into “losers” and “winners.” It is an utter blasphemy that seeks to justify oligarchy. It was not by coincidence that five of his billionaire friends were given the spotlight, asked to speak to the nation from Cleveland. 

MICHAEL O’NEILL

Convention Had It All

Springs

July 25, 2016

To the Editor:

Thankfully, the debacle in Cleveland has concluded. A three-ring circus for sure, replete with first lady wannabe, Melania, the waiting “Lady in White” plagiarizing Michele Obama’s 2008 convention speech. “Ba-lieve me, ba-lieve me!” It’s true. The birther’s wife plagiarizing an Obama! “Unba-lievable, unba-lievable!” Floor fights, smoke and mirrors and literally fog, and boos and chaos! This convention had it all, except for some Republican Party adults who chose to stay away.

Ambitious pit-bull has-beens like Rudy Giuliani, Michael Mukasey, and Chris Christie, who is off his rails and having a real bad Bridgegate week, railed doing the demagogue’s vicious dirty work, spewing forth hate, fear, darkness, bile, hysteria, uncontrolled anger, racism, and over-the-top false accusations. Let’s not forget the booing and the walkouts. Also there were some special features like the Grade B entertainers from TV soap operas and tacky reality shows and the shouting TV evangelical preacher who has the direct path to God. 

We had flashing lights, false promises, hysterical threats, and bully-boy tactics. And then there were the special effects, the helicopter and plane flyovers complete with symphonic landing music and symphonic chords as the nominee began his angry 73-minute acceptance speech. Whoa! We also heard world-class Wrestling Federation organ rolls, and who can forget the musical closer, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want!” Perfect! All quite spectacular, brilliant stage-managing. P.T. Barnum, meet your equal. 

“Star Wars” it was not.

Nothing can make this guy acceptable — not his kids, not his brand nor his products (which, incidentally, are for sale); not his money, not his hair, not his angry diatribes, and not his false promises. According to USA Today, this one has been involved in over 3,000 lawsuits during his business career. This indicates not such a great negotiator, but a litigator. (Big difference!) That’s a lifetime of legal disagreements, a lot of unravelings of the deal. He is an insecure bully and a provocateur who has many grudge matches. It’s all about him. 

One author who has ghostwritten a book for him called him a sociopath this week! As he reveals himself, that is becoming evident. He doubles down and gets nasty and has a potty mouth. Anyone who disagrees with him is a loser, a liar, or worse. You would not allow this behavior in your child. In a presidential candidate it is unacceptable and repulsive.

This Republican Party is at war with itself. Responsible Republicans should step up and repudiate this demagogue. He is not making America great, he is making America hate. There was no unity at this convention, no policy, no content, no major endorsements. There was only hate-filled, whipped-up mob anger.

In your guts, you know he’s nuts. And he is dangerously nuts.

BETSY RUTH

No Lives Matter

East Hampton

July 25, 2016

To the Editor:

When the pigs come out to play in Cleveland there is a sense of unity, camaraderie, and a powerful exhibition of white trash in all its glory. When a black Republican speaker talks about “All Lives Matter,” he appears like a deranged wind-up doll who just escaped from a local psych ward. He probably should have been wearing blackface, because real black people understand that “all people matter” is a metaphor for something else. Rudy G’s diatribe on the subject was his usual dose of vitriol.

When Republican Congressman King from Iowa questioned the contributions of non-white Christian groups to the development of Western civilization, it left the interviewer slack-jawed at the overt and remarkably stupid white supremacist belief. King was smiling, pleased with himself, and an absolute idiot.

He seemed not to know that from 400 to 1500 A.D. the Christian world was light-years behind the cultures of Asia and the Middle East. Nor did he understand that the contributions of Jews to Western civilization were significant. So significant that it would not be unreasonable to say that if the proportion of Christians and Jews were reversed we would have been on the moon by the 15th century. But that’s another story.

The attack on the Black Lives Matter movement, just like the videotapes of police killing black males, is simply business as usual. The police are doing their jobs, which includes suppressing young black males, and conservatives are invoking their favorite pastime of blaming the victims. It certainly seems that the Republican Party has found its true soul in Donald Trump. Despite his outright racism and anti-Muslim rhetoric, which they pretended to find embarrassing, he’s really who they are. Embracing Trump and the stream of mindless drivel as solutions, and the emotional invective he spews, we finally understand that the inner racist has eluded the closet and is in full view.

The collapse of our middle-class economy has its roots in slavery. Free or cheap labor has been the essence of the American economic system, except for a brief lapse from 1945 to 1980. Reversing the golden period of middle-class development was relatively easy, because the system had the race mechanism firmly in place. Our conservative government and corporations needed only to apply this system to the white working class. Ignore productivity (like in slavery days), keep the minimum wage down, and provide cheap goods for people earning less. 

The lesson of Black Lives Don’t Matter should be clear to all the people who support Mr. Trump. They need to understand that they have been incorporated into the existing race model, and Their Lives Don’t Matter either.

When the pigs finished playing in Cleveland, the lesson for all American workers, black, brown, and white, was headlined in every paper and media cast. No Lives Matter (Except Mine) is the real mantra of the orange-haired pig who leads the party.

NEIL HAUSIG

This Is the Man

East Hampton

July 18, 2016

Dear Editor,

Using his stated strategy “the best defense is a scorched-earth offense,” Donald Trump succeeded in gaining himself the Republican nomination for president of the United States, a very high office for which he is totally unfit.

Being called a “borderline pathological liar” and “the Michelangelo of Deception” by lawyers who have tangled with him, did not stop Trump’s March through the Republican primaries. Trump is living his fantasy, having a bully pulpit from which he can hold court, spewing his self-described “innocent exaggerations,” 70 percent of which have been shown to be nothing more that total fabrications and lies.

So when Trump says he owns 10 percent of the Plaza Hotel, he means he has 10 percent of the profit if it is ever sold. When he says he is building a 90-story building, it is a 70-story building with high ceilings (Fortune magazine, 2000). These are “innocent exaggerations” like the testimony of his about statements he made at a dinner. It was then proved to have been a phantom dinner and Trump, under oath, said that is an “innocent exaggeration”

And the lies and the beat go on and on, one after another. This is the man who calls Hillary Clinton a liar. This is the man who files frivolous lawsuits by the dozen (3,500 cases). This is the man who is guilty of ruinous dishonesty to avoid bill payment. This is the man who claimed to have lost a multimillion-dollar deal with Italian investors because of the actions of another who he then sued, but couldn’t, at trial, remember their names.

In the same case, he forgot the names of Russians with whom he also lost a deal. This is the man with chronic memory loss at trials. The judge just shrugged and dismissed the case without damages.

This is the man who channels blame for mistakes to others. If he hires foreign workers for a construction job at lower wages than domestic workers, he blames his foreman or business agent. When he claimed he knew nothing about it, the judge stated otherwise and awarded $325,000 to these underpaid foreign workers to whom Trump denied payment.

The list of dishonesty, fraud, lies, and heartless actions against others goes on and on. Yet some will vote for him to be leader of the free world.

Help!

RICHARD P. HIGER