News and Views

News

Voices

Arts

Life and Work

Milestones

Submit your news

Submit commentary

Support us

Become a member

Advertising

Print advertising

Web advertising

About us

Contact us

Privacy Policy

The Commons
Voices / Letters from readers

Does Donald Trump really embrace Christian values?

Originally published in The Commons issue #397 (Wednesday, March 1, 2017).



RE: “Confessions of a wary Trumpist” [Viewpoint, Feb. 15]:

While I have no doubts about Richard Morton’s sincerity, I would like to ask him to look more closely at the Trump administration’s aims, not one of which is conducive to promoting a better life for ordinary Americans.

As a woman in her eighth decade, I particularly take issue with the administration’s blindness to — or maybe acceptance of — the political implications and motives for denying women reproductive choice.

Mr. Morton’s touching empathy for unborn life, is, like the sentimentalizing of pro-life sympathizers in general, an endorsement of the fate of women who are denied contraceptives while compelled to submit to the demands of spouses or other men in positions of power.

Never once have I witnessed an extension of pro-lifers’ articulated empathy to actual living children, not even those born into poverty in our own country, to say nothing of those subjected to war, famine, and disease!

The pro-life campaign, with its hostility to contraception and abortion internationally, is guilty of a blindness that an increasingly interactive humanity can no longer sustain.

Women who are forced to bear cannot become leaders of people and are thereby denied a participation in society from which the world would benefit. Denying women access to that role is the unspoken agenda of traditional Catholic dogma and of those who maintain the civil rights of an embryo.

I have borne three children, Mr. Morton, and yet I terminated a pregnancy that would have presented me with another child at a time in my life when I was unprepared to raise it. As with the vast majority of abortions, it was performed well within the first trimester after conception, when the embryo bore no resemblance to a living baby, so that my only regret was for my less-than-conscientious role in allowing that pregnancy.

I suggest, Mr. Morton, that you consider whether Donald Trump, or any of his supporters in high positions, are capable of the compassion you possess for unformed human life and whether they are, rather, exploiting such feelings to enhance their own power and ambitions.

I also suggest that if there is an enduring dichotomy between political outlooks beyond that of political parties, it is between the strategists who advance policies based on racial or national supremacy and those who seek to promote the health and well-being of individual human beings of all types.

Our president embodies the former, having left many victims of poorly managed business operations in his wake, while denouncing and/or dismissing the poor, the victims of war and poverty, and even developmentally disabled people in the rhetoric of his political campaign.

His cabinet of billionaires are, at best, strategists; at worst, exploiters. They are neither good Christians nor men of virtue by any standards ever applied to the human experiment on Earth, though they have used religious doctrine and the worst sort of bottom-line capitalist immorality to further their viciousness.

Can you really believe they understand the needs of the downtrodden?

The war on drugs, supported by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is a thinly disguised effort to lock up “bad hombres,” i.e. poor people of dark skin, a measure that profits private prison operators and leaves broken families and broken spirits in its wake.

The brazen leveraging of corporations to rehire workers for obsolete jobs rather than proposing programs for job retraining for the unemployed is a shortsighted appeal to the disenchanted, while the America First nationalism of Trump obscures his alliance with Vladimir Putin, a tyrannical murderer whom he openly admires, an alliance likely to promote global conflict on other people’s shores.

If Mr. Trump has used the word “democracy” in any of his tweets, diatribes, or briefings, it has escaped me. Whatever happened to “compassionate conservatism,” a slogan that is no longer even given lip service? And to truth?

Supplementary information is always welcome, but there are no alternative facts! To make the target of calumny those who print facts, while disdaining that quarter of our society most dedicated to disinterested truths, namely scientists, is to worship false idols.

The most prominent false idol is himself. Donald Trump is a classic narcissist, desperate for love and admiration, though he’ll settle for attention and the wielding of power.

Take a closer look, Mr. Morton, at the man on whom you pin your hopes, and ask yourself whether he is rather a donkey waving a paper tail.

Helen Neswald


Saxtons River

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.