All forms of media are reporting these days about a sudden rise in hate crime: acts of violence against LGBT Americans, Muslims, Jews, Hispanics and God knows who else. Many attribute these acts to the election of Donald Trump. That’s unfortunate. After all, he is now our president-elect.

There could be, however, some truth to the fact that Trump’s campaign rhetoric did create an attitude among many Americans. Throughout Trump’s campaign, I received two basic messages from him. One was the disrespect he showed to Muslims, Hispanics, LGBT Americans, women and others. I’m sure he did this to gain support from those who would build massive walls and support massive deportations and who knows what other purges after he was elected. I’m sure that many today would hold him to those promises.

On the other hand, he also brought to light that ordinary citizens no longer have control over their own lives. He stated that our government’s “business as usual” was a product of the political machinery of both major political parties. He, Donald Trump, was going to fix that. I find that those who voted for Trump based on that premise had honorable intent in the way they cast their ballot. Those who voted for Trump to institute huge purges to rid the country of what seem to be perceived as “undesirables” were otherwise motivated. Those individuals are now emboldened, by Trump’s election, to carry out acts of hatred against many good citizens.

I just hope that this does not become an American “Kristallnacht.” That was the night in 1938 when the Nazis rampaged through Germany, beating, imprisoning and even killing innocent Jews.

To give the American people some control over their own lives is a noble cause. Which way will Donald Trump now lead us?

Peter P. Sirois

Madison


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