Letter to the Editor: How Will We Be Judged?

“That the people should not only have submitted to it but upheld and supported him in his encroachments upon their rights, and his disregard of the Constitution and the laws, will equally occasion the surprise and indignation of future generations.” One would assume that this quote  is a reflection on the Trump presidency, but it is not. It was penned in the mid-19th century by Phillip Hone, Mayor of New York City, reflecting on the first populist president: Andrew Jackson.  

Jackson, considered a vindictive tyrant in his day; a General who defied the Constitution, the rule of law, Presidential orders, and the Supreme Court. A slave owner who master-minded the “Trail of Tears” that saw tens of thousands of Native Americans. Almost the first President to be impeached but his party held the majority in the House. Jackson also believed elections lost were the result of “the vilest frauds that have ever been perpetrated.” Sound familiar?

Will our grandchildren be ‘surprised and indignant’ that we even considered Trump for a second term after similar acts of betrayal including his solicitation of Russian intelligence against a political opponent, undermining our COVID response, hiding classified documents and lying to the FBI, a conviction for business fraud leading to a $485 million fine, and two indictments for election interference in Georgia and then in DC for fomenting the insurrection on Jan. 6 that led to five deaths and injury to 174 police officers, and lest we forget, sexual assault followed by two convictions for defaming his victims?

Will our grandchildren be ‘surprised and indignant’ that we even considered re-electing Trump  even though he proposes the execution of his top General, shooting shoplifters, and retribution against judges and prosecutors overseeing his criminal indictments if re-elected?

Yes. They will ask why we found scapegoats for all our problems. Why we took no responsibility for separating fact from self-serving and bizarre conspiracy theories. They will wonder why we didn’t protect Democracy and our Constitutional freedoms for them to enjoy.  

Yes. They will ask, “How could you abandon us?”

Michael Harper

Gills Rock, Wisconsin