To Dennis Carstens:
Thank you for explaining why you voted for Trump (“The liberal elites finally got their walking papers,” Nov. 17). We in this nation need to explain our thinking to each other. Please allow me the honor of the detailed response your words deserve.
We liberals are “smug,” you say. By this you mean that we have ideas about what might work for the benefit of all of us. But you Trump voters either have a different view of what is best for all of us (in which case you also are “smug”) or you have a view of what is best for your race, class, friends and relations, or whatever — and the rest of us be damned. Which is it?
The “media,” you say, created the false impression that Trump is a racist and misogynist by reporting his own words at his own rallies and in discussions with his own friends. It is good to hear that you and other supporters are not monsters. Many Germans, I’m sure, voted for Hitler for economic reasons. I hope now you will be reaching out to those of us who are minorities, women, Muslims, etc., to reassure us that you didn’t really mean what you and your candidate said. We could use some healing here.
You do not think Latinos should get “special privilege.” Are you suggesting that other refugees fleeing intolerable conditions, such as Syrians, for example, should be admitted in greater numbers? If so, I believe we have found some important common ground.
You believe Trump will make America “strong militarily, financially, economically, and politically.” We obviously see a different man than you do. Please God you are right, because Trump has his finger on the button. If we are right that Trump is a man with no moral center and no ability or interest in making reasoned decisions, the world is in deep danger.
I, like you, do not have personal financial stakes in the outcome of this election, barring the real possibility of Trump leading us into war. I also am part of the 70 percent who believe the country is going in the wrong direction. But unlike you, I believe the problem lies in the vast transfer of wealth from working people to the 1 percent who were able to turn all the economic benefits of globalization and technological development to themselves alone.
Unlike you, I believe Trump offered the economic losers a false scapegoat — the other, the neighbor who is different in some way. The world has seen this kind of demagoguery before, and it has rarely turned out well.
You are right that Donald Trump and the Republicans are in charge and deserve the chance to try. Good luck; you’ll need it.
Pat Schaffer lives in Minneapolis.