How fortunate we are to live in this beautiful and peaceful community! As I relax on my porch, I can hear the rustling of the trees, and the sweet sounds of birds chattering. My dear family and friends, and the kindness of people, form a lovely life picture. Many small and large gestures add to my pleasurable existence. For example, my news delivery people place my newspaper in the entrance (saving me from searching in the bushes), my mail-lady is a dear woman who is always solicitous of my welfare, and then there are my often-needed workmen who are especially helpful and always desire to please me. (We share morning coffee, too).
When I am outdoors, hobbling along with my cane, folks just walking by frequently offer to help me. That is our community! I have the benefit of being an American, and I treasure our democracy. I live an enviable existence with love and kindness surrounding me.
Therefore, it is painful to realize that these values are at stake under President Trump. Our Constitution, its rules, regulations and guidelines for our nation, have been dismissed by this President. He has proudly stated his "accomplishments," which are either rollbacks or reverses of progress previously made in our environment, air and water studies, and health care. Social services and public education have suffered, or are threatened by, a loss of funding. Judicial and civil rights issues have been ignored. And we no longer have our national alliances, an Iranian peace pact, or trade stability.
In my estimation, President Trump's greatest disservices have been his racist views and hate rhetoric. His "zero tolerance policy" is the basis for the recent draconian plan of separating migrant parents and their children seeking asylum from the violence present in their homelands. Although our president repeatedly called the Mexican immigrants "dope traffickers, murderers, and rapists," most of these families came here hoping for a safe home for their families. To their shock, they were treated and jailed like criminals, and their children were taken from them!
President Trump finally stopped the horrendous policy he instituted, but now, because of the lack of pre-planning, the documentation was so inadequate that reunification of children and parents seems almost impossible.
Trump's racism against the brown and black races — Muslims, Mexicans, South and Central Americans, etc. — is truly un-American. The President's personal decision-making and authoritarian views have brutalized many of our foreign friendships and our country's leaders. He is changing our democracy to a dictatorship!
We cannot tolerate this happening to our nation. We can no longer remain uninvolved, indifferent, or reluctant to oppose the President's policies. True patriotism requires us to be watchful of our government's activities. Please join me in challenging our President's behavior by contacting our congressmen. They possess the power to control and force a directional change for our nation's future. Our contacts will encourage and empower them.
We will then be able to demonstrate to the world that we are indeed a democracy guided by our Constitution — and that, as a nation, we are diverse, we believe in justice, and we are (like this community) caring, peaceful, and kind.
Harriet Hausman is a longtime resident of River Forest.
Answer Book 2018
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