The American people have spoken. Trump’s fear mongering was rejected. Decisively. Throughout the election, Trump tried to vilify Democrats by associating them with “socialism” and violent aspects of the protests this past summer over the horrific death of George Floyd. Pastor Brown attempts to do the same in his guest column “Cancel Culture” in the Jan. 26 edition of the White Mountain Independent (WMI), by equating all liberals and Democrats to communism and stating that God belongs in the center of our country.
Fear does work to motivate people to vote. Fear of immigrants, Muslims, Hillary Clinton and essentially the entire world, worked to get Trump elected in 2016. It did not work in 2020 because people were aware of the lies and misinformation being spread by the former President and his campaign.
The United States of America was created with certain tenets:
1. Every person is created equal.
2.There is separation of church and state.
3. The government represents the will of the people in the form of free and fair elections.
The ongoing struggles to treat people of color equally in the hands of the police, in receiving education, in the workplace, in obtaining loans for their homes or businesses and in society in general, lead to the protests this past summer that were overwhelming peaceful. The violence that broke out was not condoned by President Biden nor by a clear majority of Democrats just as the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 was not acceptable to most Republicans. Defunding the police was a rallying cry for many African Americans and fellow protesters sick and tired of seeing their sons, daughters, husbands, wives and other relatives being killed by the police. Yet, most Democrats favored changing the way police treat people instead of abolishing the entire force altogether. The proposed solution is to hold the police at all levels accountable for their actions. Reform not defund. We need to have ongoing discussions in our society on how to fulfill our goal of obtaining true equality for every person in our country at home, at work, in school and in the community.
The attempt by conservatives and Republicans to vilify the Black Lives Matter movement and align it with Antifa or communism is a re-run of Trump’s failed election. Saying that every Black life matters is to protest the reality that the police do treat people of African American origin differently than all other Americans. To deny this fact is to refute that racism still exists in our country.
God has a place in our country but not specifically in our government. Our founding fathers made sure not to duplicate the mistakes of European Countries by insisting on a separation of church and state. In the United States of America, we can each choose which God we decide to endorse, if any at all. All religious beliefs are accepted including atheism. The First Amendment states, “ Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” A refusal to acknowledge this portion of the Bill of Rights denies an important character of American Democracy that differentiates us from Theocracies.
It’s been just 18 days since President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office. They are the legitimate leaders of our great country. It was a free and fair election, despite the rhetoric and denial by a majority of Republicans. Our President and Vice President are in the midst of addressing a pandemic, a failing economy and a persistent division in our government. They are working tirelessly every day to improve the lives of all Americans.
I call on all those spreading misinformation and fear to stop and to accept our new Executive Branch. Democrats are neither socialists nor communists. Socialist ideas like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and unemployment benefits have been promulgated by Democrats but these programs have subsequently, over time, been embraced by Republicans.
Express your opinion freely, not violently. Write to your elected leaders in Washington DC and Phoenix, Arizona to let them know how you feel. We can all, at a minimum, agree that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are our elected leaders , even if we vehemently disagree with them. Our new leaders will make our Democracy stronger and “keep it” intact.