Shared concerns: Can we bridge the divide?

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2016

To the editor: 

Ms. Every offered a response to my letter about Donald Trump in Friday’s Tryon Daily Bulletin.

I share many of her concerns, such as concern about “veterans dying because they didn’t receive proper health care.” For decades, across Democratic and Republican administrations, access to the VA for healthcare has been impeded by a tangled bureaucracy. This is indeed sad and there are tragic stories of veterans not gaining access to care. Once they do, it appears as though the satisfaction rate with care received is about 80 percent. Many news reports speak about the culture of cover-ups over the decades at the VA.

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During the current administration much has been uncovered. Many of the problems still need to be solved. One hopes that someday the divide between the U.S. Congress and the president will be replaced with solution-oriented dialogue for veterans.

I also share Ms. Every’s concern about our national debt of $19.3 trillion. We keep spending more than we have. Under Reagan the debt increased by 34 percent, GHW Bush by 29 percent, Bill Clinton by 12 percent, GW Bush by 34 percent and Obama by 46 percent. Much of the recent increase came because of the recession and ongoing wars inherited by Obama. Fortunately, the recession did not turn into a depression and unemployment levels have dropped.

There is still much to do but progress has been impeded by gridlock in Congress.

In regards to debt management, I would not look to Mr. Trump for a solution. Public records show that his companies are currently $650M in debt and his solution in the face of debt is too frequently to declare bankruptcy, which he has done four times. The U.S. cannot bully its way through the world economy by declaring bankruptcy.

Back to Trump the candidate… I remain concerned about his bullying tactics. Yes, Ms. Every, I have seen him advocate violence and even tell an attendee at a gathering that he would pay his legal fees if he punched a protestor. There are numerous other times when he has incited violence by others. Perhaps you have not seen his performances?

One section of your letter is about refugees, where you said “refugees are being brought here by the thousands and we have no idea who they are or their intentions.” We know that the US has intended to qualify and bring in 10,000 of the 4.8 million Syrian refugees; just this weekend we have learned that the 10,000th refugee will arrive this week. They have been scrutinized, are being well settled and most of them are children. I am thankful that we are helping them, especially after seeing some of the recent images of war-torn children.

Ms. Every, we have not brought in “thousands….” without knowledge of who they are or their intentions. I am proud that we can provide safety for a few of the 4.8 million displaced Syrians, both Moslem and Christian, who have made it to our shores without dying.

Ms. Every, I see that you did not address my questions about Mr. Trump’s alignment with Christian values in your letter. That’s OK; I think we all know that attributes like compassion, care, love of one’s neighbor are not often thought of when thinking about Mr. Trump.

Your concluding words about him are, “We are not electing a pastor, Donald Trump has his faults, but he is a very successful businessman…” Yes, I think he has had some successes with casinos, hotels and golf courses… but I do not see how the U.S. can be compared to a casino, hotel or golf course. These are all perhaps easily run by a tyrant with a tight fist.

However, we need a Great Collaborator in our next president, not a tyrant, especially a tyrant who has no clue about how to govern our great country. He seems to have no ability to work with anyone who does not say, “Yes, Sir, Mr. Trump.”

Can you imagine him asking anyone for advice? Can you imagine him praying for advice?

I can’t…

…and I still stand by my first letter: Mr. Trump is dangerous and seductive. We need to work together and not be torn apart by this man who appears to create chaos without a conscience to give him a moral compass.

~ Virgil Stucker, Tryon, N.C.