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My Turn, Carol Pomeroy: Is this really the man you want in White House?

By Carol Pomeroy

This is in response to Ronnie Smith’s letter dated Oct. 17 (“Your vote can keep America great”). One of the reasons that people’s priorities might differ politically could be based upon their economic backgrounds. I am on a lower rung of the middle class. You are not. But misinformation is still misinformation no matter where you fall on the political spectrum

During the last three years of President Barack Obama’s administration, 8.1 million jobs were added vs. 6.5 million jobs under Trump’s first three years or 1.6 million fewer that President Obama did under the same time frame.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has expanded health care to more than 20 million people. Trump has tried to eliminate the ACA ever since he came into office. This issue comes before the Supreme Court the week after the election and this is one of the reasons why Trump wants Amy Coney Barrett to be confirmed to the Supreme Court prior to the election. If the ACA is struck down, many people would lose their insurance. Insurers in many markets could again deny coverage for pre-existing  conditions. Why in the world would Trump want to eliminate insurance for millions of people during a pandemic?

Faith and religious freedom were stressed during the Obama administration. During the September 2015 visit of his holiness Pope Francis. President Obama said, “So we stand … in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and free from intimidation.” The Muslim ban under Trump has resulted in a rise in incidents of intimidation, bias and violence in the Muslim-American majority communities. It is this current president who has engaged in divisive, dangerous rhetoric fueling the flames of white supremacy and anti-Jewish sentiment.

The rights under the Second Amendment were not being threatened under President Obama. There was the belief that gun violence could be reduced while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners by expanding and strengthening background checks.

Under both Obama’s and Trump’s administration there have been protests. When there has been violence and looting, both presidents have condemned criminal behavior and supported the police. The difference is that President Obama called for healing and peace. Trump on the other hand just made the situation worse by supporting the interference of white supremacists and militia groups. His comment of “stand back, stand by” just energized these far right extremist groups

Trump claims African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates are the lowest they have been in the history of the country. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were at their lowest. However, he failed to tell you that unemployment rates have only been tracked since 1972 and that the rates have been on a steady decline since 2010 early in President Obama’s presidency.  

The foreign policy under Trump has not made the U.S. the most respected country in the free world. In fact we are rated seventh, not first. Additionally, Trump is not respected as a leader by many countries. Even the dictators that he so admires don’t respect him either. They have just been very successful in manipulating him.

Economic growth fell short of what Trump promised then crashed during the pandemic. Federal debt has increased by over 6.6 trillion. The tax cuts in 2017 primarily benefited corporations and the top 1% of the population. The number of people without health insurance has gone up by 7.1 million. Our government cannot locate the parents of 545 children still held in cages at the southern border.

As of Oct. 21, there have been 8.37 million total COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and 222,000 deaths. Trump has shown extremely poor judgment by not wearing a mask, not listening to the experts and encouraging large rallies without masks and social distancing. His actions have led to the increasing daily number of infections and he has done more to create the conditions that necessitate the shutting down of the economy than anything or anyone else.

Is this the man you really want in the White House? I certainly don’t.  

Carol Pomeroy lives in Salisbury.

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