Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”

President Trump (July 13, 2019)

For the past 2½ years I have assumed Donald Trump’s rambling Tweets and political agenda were aimed at simply placating and revving up his base.

However, his recent tirades attacking and questioning the patriotism of four freshman women members of the House of Representatives are reprehensible and substantiate his lack of respect for and understanding of our nation’s representative democracy and its constitution and liberties the latter affords all Americans … citizens and non-citizens alike!

His comment that; “If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, very simply: You can leave” is a repacking of the far right’s bumper sticker slogan; “America – Love it or Leave it!”

The exercise of our First Amendment rights of “freedom of speech” and to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances” of policies with which they disagreed has been a hallmark of our nation.  The fight for the abolishment of slavery, women’s suffrage, prohibition and then its repeal, civil rights for African Americans, an end to the Vietnam War and more recently those to ensure LGBTQ civil rights and immigration reform are a few notable examples.

Tragically, our president fails to understand or doesn’t believe freedom of speech affords people, including those vehemently opposed to his policies, the right to state their opinions without fear of reprisals and, in parallel, obligates others, including Trump and his supporters, to hear and tolerate such speech even if it runs counter to their core beliefs.  Voltaire famously said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

Instead, Trump wraps himself in the flag; demeans his critics; holds Congress in contempt when it fails to follow his demands; demonstrates a gross lack of knowledge of our system of our government, our constitution and our nation’s history; disregards science; and invents “facts” to suit his latest diatribes.   

The president’s failure to recognize that people who disagree with him are still devoted and patriotic Americans who love and sworn allegiance to our country and its institutions.  That their proposed policies to make America a better nation may be radical to him make them the loyal opposition, not an enemy. 

Donald Trump doesn’t comprehend America is a hallowed and evolving ideal … unique in the history of mankind … one based on guarantying individual liberties, political democracy, equality, inclusion, tolerance, civility and social and economic opportunity for every person living in or who comes to our shores. 

Contrary to the president’s rants, the Democrats who are the latest targets of his Twitter wrath, are not the ones who hate America.  Rather, since it is Donald Trump is the one who is constantly “complaining all the time” and “not happy” with America, its constitution, its two co-equal branches of government and its diversity he ought to consider being the one to go back to where he came from.

Robert F. Kennedy once said, “The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country.”