Americans, please know this nation is battling for its soul

Many political junkies are viewing President Trump’s tweets about four new members of Congress as defining the main issue for the 2020 presidential election.

That’s an understatement. We say those actions define the only issue.

Trump’s discriminatory sentiments, bolstered by his past actions and utterances, put front and center one simple reality:

Americans are in a battle for the soul of this nation.

Are we, as our founders proclaimed 243 years ago, a nation where all are created equal? Are we, as Americans, following our nation’s pledge of liberty and justice for all? Are we bound by the rule of law? Are we a place where anyone can work hard and rise from humble beginnings — yes, even beginnings that start on foreign soil.

Because that’s what our founders envisioned. And we’re not guessing. They said so. They wrote it down.

So the question before Americans — not just for the 2020 election, but for the future of the country is this: What country do you want to live in?

Do you want this to be a nation striving for all the freedoms our founders not only envisioned, but willingly put their lives behind with their signatures?

Or do you want a country led by a president bent on keeping power by stoking fear, using intimidation and making verbal attacks on select Americans?

We believe supporting or opposing any politician based on a single issue should be done very rarely.

However, President Trump’s repeated championing of nativism along with his reckless history of targeting of people of color, women and sometimes people with disabilities, make this a time when that single-issue measure needs to be applied.

Enough of excusing and ignoring his bigotry and hate because your economic times are good or you can’t stomach the other party.

If you support him with your vote, own this: You support a president who embraces the exact opposite values of those written into the very documents presidents are sworn to uphold.

U.S. House Republicans who did not speak out against Trump’s original tweets this past week, including U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minnesota, deserve similar scrutiny, especially when many of these same leaders two days later rebuked supporters for chanting “send her back” at Trump’s Wednesday campaign rally.

The president literally put those words in the crowd’s mouths. How can any honest American rebuke those who repeated the words, but not the powerful leader who put them up to it?

America has a president with a history and current practice of fomenting hate and bigotry based on negative stereotypes of those who are not like him, be they foreign-born, female or otherwise “other.”

He swore an oath to lead a nation, not a party. He made a promise to be the president of all the people, stating in his own inaugural address that “the oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.”

He has broken that promise, and he cannot lead the people when he disdains and derides a significant portion of them.

A Republican challenger — although an ideal alternative for middle-of-the-road centrist Republican voters who just can’t fathom voting outside the GOP — isn’t going to happen. Democrats who might otherwise cast a primary vote for a one-issue outlier to move the party platform have to be asking themselves if, this time, it’s worth it. This is no time for politics as usual.

What should America be? It’s time for soul-searching. It’s time to choose.

— St. Cloud Times

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