Letter: Trump has driven our country into a ditch

Posted 8/12/20

To the editor:

I wonder if Robert Frost foreshadowed Donald Trump with his seminal line from ‘The Death of the Hired Man:’  “..., And Nothing to look backward to with pride, …

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Letter: Trump has driven our country into a ditch

Posted

To the editor:

I wonder if Robert Frost foreshadowed Donald Trump with his seminal line from ‘The Death of the Hired Man:’  “..., And Nothing to look backward to with pride, And nothing to look forward to with hope,...”  Now, that would be sad for a working person.  Not so much for a person born to wealth and who takes being privileged to absurd now lows.
It is impossible to be a successful, well-regarded elected person in a democracy without integrity and without what psychologists call ‘other directedness.’  Our joyless president has neither trait that all good leaders aspire to.  Instead, he is grubby and greedy on his best days.  On his worst days he is nasty and vicious.  All these could be forgiven, but not his irresponsibility.
President Trump has not responsibly led a national effort to prevent the terrible spread of the coronavirus.  He has not responsibly crafted a prudent, careful path to reopen our economy.  He has not responsibly called on the nation to follow essential guidelines to eventually open schools.  He has not responsibly led the Congress to provide essential resources to assist the unemployed, to assist shuttered small businesses, to assist counties and municipalities pay public employees, or to assist states prepare for free and fair elections this Fall.  He has not responsibly tried to confront all types of ingrained racism that prevents ours from becoming a just society.
This level and breadth of irresponsibility in any other arena would lead to immediate dismissal.  While Trump’s dismissal in November is a real possibility, two questions arise.  First, what else might occur between now and then?  And second, what could possibly put us right after so many unnecessary deaths, lost jobs and homes, and failed businesses?
In simpler times, we’re heard, for example, that the ‘economy is in a ditch.’  Now, however, the whole country is in a ditch: health, wealth, and trust.  We cannot ask a new president to solve these fundamental problems alone.  Instead, everyone will have imagining to do as never before.  All unafraid.  All voices heard.  All hands on deck.  All willing to try.  Real citizenship requires no less.
Will Newman
Tiverton

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.