The Amend Corner

We are only as strong as our weakest link

By Don Amend
Posted 10/8/20

The election is only a month away, so it’s time to put in my 2 cents worth concerning how people should vote.

If you have been reading these columns for any length of time, you are no doubt …

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The Amend Corner

We are only as strong as our weakest link

Posted

The election is only a month away, so it’s time to put in my 2 cents worth concerning how people should vote.

If you have been reading these columns for any length of time, you are no doubt aware that my opinions are out of step with a large majority of Wyomingites. More importantly, they probably don’t match those of the people who own this paper, but, being good patriotic Americans, they know that the right to dissent is one of the factors making America the Land of the Free.

I wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time, I was a Republican, the kind of guy who voted for Eisenhower, or would have, had I been old enough to vote in the 1950s. When I first started voting, I mostly, with a few exceptions, voted for Republicans. But those were the days when the news was dominated by the Vietnam War and by protests by Black Americans against discrimination.

I took notice when segregationist southern Democrats, led by South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond, began to leave the Democratic Party and join the Republicans. That led me to re-examine what I believed and, although I still held some Republican positions, they were outweighed by a couple of things that I pledged myself to support on many occasions: liberty and justice for all.

Well, things have changed since then, but racial discrimination hasn’t gone away, and it’s a problem that is doing great damage to my country. Roughly 13% of our population is African-American and, along with other non-white citizens, they represent about 40% of our fellow Americans. With that many Americans held back economically by racism, the nation cannot achieve its full potential, and social unrest caused by discrimination is itself harmful.

I firmly believe in the adage, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest leak,” and I believe it applies to our present situation. Robbing a group of liberty and equal justice not only harms the group that is the object of the discrimination, it harms us all.

I want a president that will do everything he or she can to combat such discrimination, and our current president has not tried to do anything, even though he claims that he has. On the contrary, he seems bound to widen the gap between minority groups and the majority. This is evident in the support he has received from groups who advocate white supremacy, which I believe are a danger to this nation. I cannot support such a candidate, and will vote accordingly,

I am also troubled by the disrespect our current president displays toward anyone who disagrees with him, and especially his attitude toward the people he characterizes as “elites.” He rejects the advice of experts and scientists such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, and discounts advice and even common news he doesn’t like a hoax. In fact, his favorite word appears to be “hoax,” and he uses it whenever someone suggests that he has done something questionable or even downright illegal.

He doesn’t seem to understand that there is a good reason that someone is recognized as an expert or achieves elite status. A person achieves that level of recognition on a issue by spending years of thought or study of the issue, so he/she is worth listening to.

Personally, I want a president who listens to experts rather than simply rejecting them because his political base doesn’t like the information they contribute in an effort to solve a problem, such as a pandemic.

I am also concerned by the willingness of so many Americans to accept stories of conspiracies that any reasonable person would realize are pure fantasy. One such story or example insists that the massacre of school children in a Connecticut elementary school in 2012 did not occur. Instead, it was created by a conspiracy to promote gun control.

More recently, a theory referred to as QAnon has spread allegations that liberal politicians like Hillary Clinton and Hollywood liberals are running a huge operation to kidnap children and abuse them. According to this theory, people like me can be found sitting around sipping the blood of those children in order to lengthen our lives. This conspiracy theory has led one man to attack a pizza restaurant that the conspirators operate from. Naturally, the inventor of this conspiracy says that Donald Trump is busy trying to find and destroy the conspirators.

I want a president who will stand up and denounce such theories as the poison they are, our current president seems to be too busy to do that.

There are many more reasons for my opposition to President Trump, but I’ll have to save them for later. But that’s a good start.

There’s only a month left to decide who you will vote for. If you are voting by mail, make sure you mail it on time.

The Amend Corner

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