Recently, I attended a service at Oak Park Temple in memory of the murdered members of the Tree of Life Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The solemn meeting was a unique experience because church, temple, and mosque members from local congregations and the Chicago area were present to display their sympathy and concern for the Jewish community. This expression of humanity and respect for each other’s religions was an example of America at its best.

(This mass murder, accomplished with a military assault weapon by this mad maniac is just another example of why these types of weapons should be outlawed.)

Sadly, another horrible act by a fanatic lunatic took place about the same time when 15 bombs were mailed to Democratic leaders. This madman intended to kill President Trump’s political opponents, considering them “enemies.” Unfortunately, Trump does not recognize that his fiery rhetoric is creating an atmosphere that allows for such outrageous behavior.

I am quite sure that Trump did not expect or desire any such violent response to his rally comments, but he must certainly know he has the power to help eliminate these terrorist acts. Characterizing the press as “enemies of the people” must stop. It was Stalin who used this expression last. Trump’s encouragement of bitter, divisive remarks between politicians promotes only anger and hate. And proclaiming himself a “nationalist” aligns him with racists, immigrant haters, and neo-Nazi sympathizers.

These words make it difficult to believe the sincerity of his kinder comments after learning of the synagogue murders. The arrested terrorist who did this stated repeatedly his hatred for Jews and others. He said he was a white nationalist like Trump.

Words have consequences. Maybe Trump’s base of followers would welcome a more considerate, less reckless-speaking leader. 

Then perhaps some of those folks could join in the togetherness and kindness that was expressed at the memorial service gathering.

Harriet Hausman

River Forest

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