Re: Rick Barker, letters to the editor, Nov. 19.
Well, Rick, whoever writes the headlines in the opinion section is trying to fit us into the old “pot calling the kettle black” saying. I suppose that, for a moment, it is an apt observation. We both are prone to making sweeping statements. Perhaps, to go to a sports metaphor, we should go back to our separate corners and get ready for the next round!
However, this is much larger than the “pot and the kettle.” Something has changed recently (last 20 years) and you and I are evidence of that. The running of our government, at all levels, was never meant to be a sport or entertainment. Cable TV and social networking have sped up communication much faster than the populace was prepared for. We now have access to a phenomenal amount of information and no way of knowing whether any of it is factual. No facts, no truth! We therefore have political “death threats” and refusal to continue with American “norms.” The “Loyal Opposition” no longer exists! The FBI and Homeland Security have done their research and determined the current threat comes from the right. As usual, the left is too disorganized and fragmented to mount a serious response. You can easily determine who is making the threats by seeing who is threatened. (As an aside, doesn’t “Homeland Security” sound vaguely German?)
For more than 200 years, we have had differences of opinion on how the government was going to be run. And yet we were still able to agree with the “will of the people” and peacefully transfer power of government to the winner of that election. Past office holders attended the “swearing in” of their successors. Nobody claimed they were “robbed” of their successful campaign. No one in those 200-plus years assembled a mob to attack the legislative branch in an attempt to change the outcome of the election. Donald Trump ended all that traditional “Americanism.” You are right, Rick, on Jan. 6, Trump was still president, or as you put it, sovereign. However, he was not acting or speaking like one. The American experiment was going to go ahead (post-election) without him. Without any evidence, the “crybaby” wanted the results of the election changed so that he could “win.” With recounts and audits in a number of states, there were not enough votes changed to alter the outcome.
Trump failed to see what a president was, as opposed to what power he could wield. He said, on more than one occasion, “I have an Article 2 that says I can do anything that I want”! Not true, but it fit into Trump’s version of reality. He was still thinking like the “sole proprietor” head of a small family business.
Contrary to what you say, Rick, I don’t claim to have all the answers. I don’t even have all the questions. I do see that Trump and his MAGA followers are not acting in the way that the founders set up and at times are acting “Un-constitutionally.” It’s been said that “one of the great things about the USA is that anyone can grow up to be president”! It is also one of the bad things about the USA.
So, Rick, maybe we can stop this back and forth, and see where we agree.
Editor’s note: It’d be great if everyone could develop more mutual understanding. An aside, though: The “pot and the kettle” headline was not intended to refer to Mr. Morrison and Mr. Barker. It was intended as a reference to Mr. Barker’s statement in his letter that “violence, stupidity and anarchy was far from being something exclusive to one side of the political spectrum.” Apologies for the lack of clarity.