Two years ago I wrote a letter to the editor titled, “Norms, standards and behaviors.”
At that time I had watched a C-Span episode that featured James R. Clapper, former director of national security, and Michael V. Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency.
Their main point was that our national institutions had been under tremendous stress when it came to the rule of law, national policy, diplomacy and foreign relations as a result of presidential tweets and actions.
Now we have added stressors that include COVID-19, racial injustice issues, climate change, economic fallout and White House falsehoods, misinformation and incompetence.
If you have decided to vote for Trump, nothing I write will change your mind. If you are weighing the good and bad that have transpired since Trump took office, and are unsure how to cast your presidential ballot, be aware that science, history, tradition and integrity are not welcome in this administration.
We have moved past my belief that men and women of character and professionalism, like Mr. Clapper and Mr. Hayden, would prevail, that they would advise and assist Trump’s administration in practicing good governance.
How is it possible that someone with no background in science, health, history, economics or governance could reassure you that he knows best, no matter what the topic?
If my car, and its various parts, stand in for the U.S. government, I want the best mechanic I can get fixing the problems. I want professionals with lots of experience and vetted credentials handling our national affairs. I want accountability, proof and reason as part of the mix, not half-truths, conspiracy tales and made up stuff.
We have moved way past a Ford vs. Chevy, Republican vs. Democrat scenario. We are in the hands of a despot who is a master at put downs, talking over people, and using bluster and pretension to manage our country.
I miss hearing what intelligent Republicans like Jon Huntsman Jr. have to say about our national mess.
I miss public discourse that works to come up with solutions to all of our domestic and foreign policy issues. I miss real Republicans who take a stand based on principles and not party.
I am asking my fellow Americans to take a step back from anger, bitterness, rage and vitriol. Deep down, most of us want for our country what we want for our families, friends and communities; we want respect, cordial relations and social discourse that works toward solutions.
Let’s vote that way so we can return to the norms, standards and behaviors that we are all familiar with — the ones embodied in the Golden Rule.