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Thursday, June 1, 2017

John McCain

   I am on the opposite end of the political spectrum from John McCain.  There is however much to admire about him.  Despite Frump's comment, McCain is a hero.  He did not take an offer to leave the Hanoi prison until all prisoners were released.  He rebuked a supporter for making a racist comment about then candidate Obama. He is standing up to Frump more than any of his chickens*** colleagues in the senate.  Now for his wisdom.  He said that he considers  Russia a far greater threat to our democracy than ISIS.  This is a less than subtle attack on Frump.
      Perhaps President Franklin Roosevelt's most memorable speech was"we have nothing to fear but fear itself" Roosevelt's words helped calm a frightened nation.  Winston Churchill did the same for Great Britain.
        I listened to Frump's speech in Saudi Arabia.  He did nothing but fear monger.  Almost the entire speech was devoted to terrorism.  This is consistent with his unconstitutional travel ban.  Frump's words are in direct contrast to not only Roosevelt and Churchill,  but also to George W. Bush after 9/11. Rather than confronting fear, he promotes it. 
        I don't want to minimize the threat of terrorism.  There are truly evil and/or deranged people who revel in killing innocent people.  I think that terrorism will be a fact of life for the foreseeable future.  But let's put it in perspective.  The death toll for 9/11 was 2997.  From 2002 to 2014 there has been a total of 53 people killed in the United States by terrorist attacks.  Without a doubt our security services haveand will continue to thwart terrorist attacks.  While such attacks are a fact of life, we should not succumb  to fear.  If we do, the terrorists win.  Another way to put this in perspective. there have been 440,000 deaths from gun violence in the United States between 2001 and 2014.  
      I recently heard from a woman who would not go to Paris because of the recent acts of terrorism.  If everyone felt that way, the terrorists win.  The Paris metropolitan area has a population of more than 10 million people.  The chance of being injured or killed in a terrorist attack, whether in New York, Boston, Paris, Brussels or Manchester is infinitesmal.  The people of Manchester have demonstrated that they will not be cowed by fear.  Kathryn and I visited New York shortly after 9/11.   Everywhere we went people expressed gratitude for us being there.  New York has rebounded incredibly to the body blow it took.
       So this brings me back to the wisdom of McCain.  He is exactly right.  Russia has interfered with the core of our democracy.  Frump dismisses the threat from Russia and revels in the hateful rhetoric of fear.  I have heard  a couple of Republican Senators agree with McCain.  If the ongoing investigations into the Frump/Russia connection are serious, maybe we are seeing the beginning of the end.  Let's hope.


                                                                             Richard Lenter

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