Presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a magazine cover featuring himself while at a campaign stop at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Image by Matt Johnson via Flickr Creative Commons.

IT IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

By Ruth Gadebusch

Think, think, think before you vote for Trump. No matter how much you dislike the other candidates, the behavior of Congress, how upset you are with current conditions or just in general, Donald Trump is no laughing matter.

The orange haired one may seem so unreal as to be a joke but we dare not treat it as such. The stakes are too high. That he has gotten this far is a testimony to our failed civic appreciation. I don’t mean the formal education because we all had the basics in school – way back when! It is just the bottom line that so many take the responsibility of government so lightly.

Remember that should it come to pass that this man becomes our president, the leader of the free world, it is not just a short time to be played out but a very serious four years. Our checks and balances will not be sufficient. It is easy to think that he will have limits but we thought when this scenario started there would be limits on his getting this far. They haven’t worked in what we thought to be a bit of excitement and then the voters would repudiate him.

Now Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald has suggested that we should be thinking about what we do next regardless of where this man takes us, be it president or just out of sight and out of mind. Mr. Pitts says it is the conditions that brought us this man that should receive our attention. The columnist credits today’s turmoil to economic insecurity, bigotry, ignorance and fear. He designates these forces a virulent cancer embracing the nation. Needless to say, they won’t be easy to eliminate or even to mitigate, but we fail to deal with them at our own peril.

The money pigs, as he calls them, at the top must be changed. Trickle-down economics has never worked and shows no promise of doing so in the future.

It is the less educated who find such joy in the utterances of Mr. Trump. His authoritarian voice offers solace to the ignorant.

Mr. Pitts notes that pretending bigotry doesn’t exist does not make it so. Only confrontation of the truth of its existence in all segments of our society will allow us to begin to correct the course.

Then there is fear, fear of losing one’s place in the society. Here, Mr. Pitts tells us the cure is in finding strategies that help us locate in one another our shared humanity. My take is that realization of our shared humanity might solve all the other concerns as we share this world’s resources.

Leonard Pitts assures us that confronting apathy by voting can “cool the temperature, drain the swamp.” Of course, he expects that voting citizens will say goodbye to the likes of Mr. Trump but he is not so naive as to think that life will suddenly be great once Trump is gone. After all, Trump is only the reflection of the ugliness within the society, an ugliness that thinking, caring citizens must strive to wipe out. Vote, but do it with serious study and thinking. It is our responsibility and privilege.

*****

Community activist Ruth Gadebusch is a veteran, a former member of the Fresno Unified Bord of Education, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Civic Education.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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