A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Trump squandered golden opportunity to unite Americans

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Re: “Weigh Trump’s results, not the distractions,” by Tom Haitema, Monday:

I was not a Trump supporter, but when Trump was elected I was willing to give him a chance and eager to see him shake up Washington. Even with all I knew about him, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I believed his success would bring success for all Americans.

I continued to have hope, though I was consistently embarrassed and saddened by things he did and said. Time after time, I saw him miss golden opportunities to unite and comfort our people and to keep people like me on his side.  I cringed at his silly tweets. Finally though,  I became infuriated as I watched him rev up a crowd of supporters with his boasting, lies, threats, exaggerations. That was the turning point for me.  I saw my president deliberately orchestrate a situation to bring out the very worst in people. 

Through his rhetoric, his appeals to the baser instincts, his vitriolic physical presentation, he was able to control and turn people — most of whom I assume were otherwise reasonable, dignified, honest, good folks — into mean-spirited, fanatical fans. It was, and is, a terrifying thing to see.

Despite what anyone believes, most of us know it is not OK to lie, yet the president does it habitually.  Did we all grow up in the same country? Did I miss something when I was in school and church here in America?  Was my family in error when they taught me the difference between right and wrong, and that we were to strive to do the right thing? I don’t think so.

Yet a lot of people I love and trusted — good, smart Christian folks, I thought — end up at Trump rallies, screaming epithets and insults to their fellow Americans. It is Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment at its worst. But unlike the WWE productions, these rallies are real, and the president is manipulating and convincing a group of his people, my people, that it’s OK to turn on their own.

The saddest thing is that he could have done the same good things and so much more by just being strong, positive and standing firm. He could have won over so many of us who wanted an effective leader. But obviously, our president, because of his own pattern of personally destructive behavior, was not and is not capable of true leadership.

Nancy Nichols Hawley