Opinion | Muftic: Why the midterm fuss? Donald Trump is not on the ballot
Donald Trump is not on the ballot but he says he wants the Nov. 6 midterms to be a referendum about him. If so, send him a message with your vote. That is the American way. What is not the American way are his words of hate and fear or to deliver the same in return. Words have consequences. Violence begets violence.
Both parties use heated political oratory, but no one is equivalent to the bully pulpit of a president and no one equals Trump’s constant insults of rivals by name, his demeaning racial and religious minorities, and his exhortation of violence against reporters. This is still a citizen driven democracy. If that is the president we want to continue to empower, that is the president we get. My hope is that most Americans see an America better than that. We are becoming two countries: one mired in yearning for a past where racism was not tempered by political correctness and patriarchy reigned unchallenged. There is another America driven by tolerance, fairness, and idealism of our founders who gave us a form of democracy that, unless abused, would protect us from hate mongers. In November of 2018 and 2020, this country has the opportunity to choose which country it will be for years to come.
The horrific massacre in the Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday reminds us of what an atmosphere of hate of “others” can foster. The anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant shooter posted his beliefs on social media. Chants of “lock her up,” “Build the wall” rocked and still rocks Trump’s rallies. Earlier in the week, a frequent Trump rally attender addressed letter bombs to the who’s who of Trump’s named enemies and critics and had plastered his van with targets drawn over faces of those who were to become bomb recipients. The FBI and Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly put to rest Trump media promoted conspiracy theories that this was a hoax, committed by Democrats to make the President look bad. The bombs were real. The accused was a partisan.
Trump cannot control how every unhinged follower will react, but Trump with his powerful position bears a special responsibility not to be a match that lights the fires. Trump does not stop hate filled chants at rallies; he regales in them. Trump, taking no responsibility in inspiring hateful violence, blamed the bomber on the mainstream media he had frequently called the enemy of the people. For what? For reporting and preserving Trump’s own words, for providing live coverage of his rallies, and fact checking?
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Not to be lost in breaking news, are issues that impact many, health care coverage and Roe v. Wade’s survival. We are voting for state officials who can shape them. Twenty GOP State Attorneys General have sued to declare the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) unconstitutional, ending subsidized health insurance premiums and coverage of pre-existing conditions. There is no comparable replacement. The Democrat Colorado Attorney General candidate Phil Weiser would defend the ACA against the Texas suit destined for the Supreme Court. His GOP opponent George Brauchler, once had backed repeal. The conservative Supreme Court majority is likely either to rule against Roe v. Wade or to give more power to states to restrict access. The Governor can veto what its legislature passes. Democrat Jared Polis is pro-choice. His opponent Walker Stapleton is pro life and is mum if he would sign state legislation further restricting abortions. In the Attorney General’s race, Weiser is pro-choice. Anti choice Brauchler has left open whether he would file a brief before the Supreme Court urging repeal of Roe v. Wade.
Forgot to register? No problem. In Colorado, you can register up to and on election day, Nov. 6. Visit http://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/home.xhtml for how. For candidate positions: Google. For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com.
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