It is truly heartbreaking to see the Trump-Pence signs popping up on the lawns of more and more of my fellow Mainers. Many of those homeowners likely are hard-working, kind-hearted Americans who would rush to help a neighbor in trouble without once checking to see if that neighbor might be wearing a MAGA hat or showing a Democratic bumper sticker on the car. Many of those homeowners undoubtedly are people of faith — people who at least attempt to follow the teachings of Jesus and the commandments of God in their daily lives. Many of those homeowners likely love their country and consider themselves to be patriots.
Given all of that, it’s impossible to understand how — day after day, week after week, month after month — they can turn a blind eye to the failed presidential leadership of Donald Trump that has been on display for nearly four years in these once United States. They pledge their allegiance to a man who would not lift a finger to help anyone unless he believed it would benefit him in some way. They revere a man who ignores any and all biblical teachings while pretending to support freedom of religion. They ardently support a man who has, for political reasons, stood in the way of a coordinated, science-based national response to the coronavirus pandemic and thus is directly responsible himself for causing the needless deaths of untold numbers of Americans. They take as gospel, without ever questioning, every proven lie uttered by Trump or his cadre of advisors who hold the power at Fox News. They choose to ignore Trump’s racist support for white supremacy, his fascist craving for more and more power, his misuse of the White House and other taxpayer-funded government entities for his own personal gain.
Would these Trump supporters sit calmly by without objection if Trump came into their midst and began arbitrarily separating mothers and their children as he did to thousands of families who sought asylum at our southwestern border? Are they not concerned when Trump, hoping to make voting by mail impossible in November, intentionally shrinks the funding of the U.S. Postal Service, causing mail delays and harm to the millions of Americans whose very lives depend on timely delivery of medication, Social Security checks and other essentials? And what about his incessant attempts to divide rather than unite Americans, his constant message of fear the entire country will not be safe unless he is returned to office, his claims that anyone who does not stand with him hates and is a danger to America? Do all of those things go unheard or unseen by our neighbors with Trump-Pence signs in their yards?
How can they hide their heads in the sand or simply look away while a man with neither morals nor compassion for others thumbs his nose at the rule of law, uses the power of his office to protect himself from being held to account for his own illegal behavior, and shows no concern at all for the damage he has done to the institutions and the values that made this country the greatest in the world for more than 200 years?
Sadly, it’s nothing less than ignorance by choice.
Look around you, folks. Are we better off now than we were four years ago? That answer is a resounding “no,” by any measure you can name.