Letter to the Editor

I wish I could support the president

Sunday, August 20, 2017

As president and commander in chief, Donald Trump’s primary responsibility is to keep us safe — domestically and internationally. On the world front, his statements to North Korea that they face the possibility of “fire and fury like the world has never seen” would indicate the United States is “locked and loaded” ie: prepared to start a nuclear war. Who knows what action this would bring from China and Russia? Does this make anyone feel safe?

Here at home we see the riots at Charlottesville, Virginia. After pressure from citizens of Charlottesville and civil rights groups, the City Council voted in February 2017 to remove the statue of Gen. Robert Lee from Lee Park. Opponents of the move sued in March saying the city council did not have the authority to remove the statue under state law. The court case is continuing, In June the City Council voted to change the name of the Lee Park to Emancipation Park.

Even though the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally was cancelled by city officials, KKK and white supremacist protesters of the statue removal descended on the campus of the University of Virginia armed with long guns, bats, brass knuckles, torches and Nazi symbols. A large group of anti-supremacists arrived and the conflict ensued. At one point, one of the protesters drove a car into a crowd of local residents, killing one and injuring 35.

Former Grand Wizard of the KKK David Duke commented on the event. “This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take back our country to fulfill the promise of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for him.” Though many state and federal officials termed it an act of domestic terrorism, President Trump responded to the event by saying he condemned the violence by “many sides,” but stopped short of explicitly condemning the white supremacist actions. It would appear that he felt the anti-supremacist arrival was not justified. A statement of moral clarity should have been made. After critical remarks by Republicans and Democrats, White House spokes people tried to say he was misinterpreted, but no comment from Trump yet. Does this make you feel safe?

We should not — cannot return to the days when segregation was seen as acceptable by large numbers of people. I would like to be able to support the elected head of state, but his words and actions make it impossible.

— Robert Sneitzer, Spirit Lake