Abby's Road: To be anti-Trump is to be pro-American

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In June 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered the commencement speech at American University in Washington, D.C. His focus was world peace and how to achieve it.

By his “final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

Kennedy was speaking to an international community because he wanted to forestall an international crisis. His reminder, however, is relevant at any level of human interaction. It is a crucial confrontation at a national level today.

Our political process is driven by two camps, Democrats and Republicans. Putting down the easy mantle of cynicism, it cannot be lost that each party exists for good reasons. Each party believes that its ideas pave better paths towards entrenching and then enhancing the values that define America. Sometimes those paths converge, sometimes they go in opposite directions. But they are each rooted in purpose, conviction, and hope.

Democrats and Republicans are more alike than different. We share this country, and the inevitability of our mortality. We drive the same streets, drink the same water, sleep under the same moon. We want our children’s lives to represent an improvement on our own.

Our passports are embossed with our American citizenship, not our political party. The flag we sing to bears stars and stripes, not elephants or donkeys. We celebrate July 4 because of what happened in 1776, not some other date in 1828 or 1854.

We are humans first, Americans second. Our party affiliations, if any, are a closer relative to our favorite sports team than to our other distinctions. They say almost nothing about the basic principles of our moral code or our civic values.

We are human. We strive for goodness. We disavow evil.

We are American. With a very small exception, we are or descended from immigrants. Our tallest statue beckons the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

We are the results of that assembly of people who desired a more perfect union, founded on justice, general welfare, and liberty. We subscribe to a social contract protecting freedom of things – speech, religion – and from things – tyranny, oppression. We are the shining city on the hill, the land of opportunity.

These democratic, aspirational principles are the ties that bind our country. We are not American because of where we worship, who we love, how we talk, what we read, or why we affiliate with a political party. We are American because we believe we are all created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights. And that is exceptional.

We have made mistakes, taken two steps forward only to take one back. We have lived in darkness. We are great, though, because we return to the light by hewing to the tenets that created us – as humans first, Americans second.

Today, we are being asked to believe that our humanity depends on winning a game with no rules. That we are American because of the shape of our borders, the sound of our names, the severity of our actions. If those definitions prevail, we will have lost our way.

Before Donald Trump is a Republican, he is a man and an American. As a man, he is self-absorbed and self-centered, a megalomaniac of historic proportions. As an American, he is an extremist of every distinction. He relishes our differences, not to praise them but to exploit them, scratching them like a scab until there is blood.

It is impossible that the Republican leadership unanimously endorses his xenophobic, racist, misogynist, uninformed, uncaring, selfish platform. Yet with a very small exception, that leadership is, at best, silent about his candidacy. They prefer that their party wins, even if it means that their country loses.

The order of priority needs to be restored. Our values are not fantasy draft picks. Our legacy should not be threatened by a man looking only to make his brand great again.

Trump has isolated himself from our common worth. All of us, Republicans and Democrats alike, must cling to that, not to him. To be anti-Trump is to be pro-American, and that is the affiliation that matters.

Abby Diaz grew up in Falmouth and lives there again, because that’s how life works. She blogs at whatsleftover.com. Follow Abby on Twitter: @AbbyDiaz1.

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  • Michael

    Abby, you probably don’t know it but you are a Luciferian. Even our body cells have boundaries for good reason. Build that wall. TRUMP 2016!

    • John Palman

      Michael, do you know what it means to be a “Luciferian”? You are probably parroting this word as you thought it was inextricably linked to the occult and satanism, but that is actually not the case. I encourage you to open a book and read about it sometime.

      • Michael

        Thank you John for the question. Luciferian means that one is acting on that part that is evil and characteristic of the spiritual being Lucifer that all creatures carry within them.

  • Chew H Bird

    Actually, while I view Mr. Trump similar to you, I strenuously disagree with your premise. Our country provides military weapons to other nations that demean, discriminate, and harm women. We provide benefits to those seeking asylum and while our population may disagree over the actual benefits, the fact is some are provided.

    Being a citizen in America is supposed to allow each of us a voice and an opportunity. To that end, to lash out at Mr. Trump because he exemplifies what many of us dislike to hypocritical at best and at worst it makes us like those we seek to diminish.

  • Ted

    Thank you for your intelligent, respectful piece, Abby.

    I agree with your assertions about Donald Trump’s personality traits and like how you tied us all in, Democrat and Republican (and others, I presume), as Americans. This allows the breathing room necessary to rally for something larger than ourselves and our narrow affiliations. It also leaves the breathing room necessary to concede that there is a growing swath of angry Americans who feel that the political, economic, and media institutions are not working to our benefit.

    By demeaning a candidate such as Trump (or Sanders) and calling him by other than his rightful legal name, some people are unwittingly (or maybe wittingly) fueling the fire of discontent. People have real and sincere grievances and to discount the only political figures that many are left with is to discount their grievances. That is not only foolish, it is dangerous.

  • Samantha Crosby

    Outstanding column, yet again. Thank you for these words. I will proudly share them among my social media channels.

  • Mainer1

    Accountability, hard work ethic vs. government handouts, welfare society. Liberals like Abby are trying to brand Trump as a racist when he is trying to create jobs. Go Trump!

  • jack bauer

    This is possibly the most ignorant bit of prose ever written in The Forecaster and that is saying something.

    • Barbara Fisco

      She’s a Useful Idiot.(see def.) There are alot of them around , mostly under 40. Mis-educated into communism ( read Charlotte Iserbet: “The Dumbing Down of America”) Common Core is ramping it up even more. Unfortunately these people all run around waving their “degrees” as if they mean something.

      • EABeem

        Typical rightwing wacko anti-intellectualism. Abby offers a thoughtful, well-reasoned column and you just take a dump on her. Herr Drumpf is the fair-haired Fuhrer who appeals to racists, sexists, and flag-waving nationalists who can’t figure out that he’s a total fraud. He’s not a good man. not a good American, not a Republican at all and certainly not a conservative. He advocates a massive expansion of government and higher taxes. He is WWIII waiting to happen.

        • poppypapa

          There’s our ever reliable Eddie, spewing his high-road ‘intellectualism’ all over the comment stream. As I pointed out in his anti-Trump screed of a few weeks ago, he’s having increasing difficulty containing his venomous hatred for anyone who doesn’t march in lock-step right behind him.

          If memory serves, however, he’s added a few new epithets since I catalogued the ones in that thread. “Fair-haired Fuhrer” and “flag-waving nationalists” are a nice touch, and add to his mastery of compound multi-syllabic labels.

          Here’s hoping no one in Eddie’s nuclear or extended family disagrees with him on his ideological dictatorship. The wrath they would be exposed to would be a real record-setter.

          One wonders whether potential son-in-laws are subjected to political ‘vetting’ before being awarded the hand of one of his daughters, and made to sign a nuptial contract with him regarding their future political behaviors.

          Grand-children can be controlled more subtly by indoctrination drills during baby-sitting, over-nighters, etc.

          ‘Flag-waving nationalist’ son-in-laws, grandchildren and the like might be too much of a test for our self-admitted lovable, cuddly, agreeable columnist.

          I hope he knows that he risks being in the same confined spaces with such disagreeable “Americans” when he stands among the fruits and nuts and kale in the Hannaford produce department accepting homages, and signing autographs.

          Such a fine exemplar of Forecaster editorial thinking he is. Not to mention an upholder of the highest journalistic ‘standards.’

          Maybe he should try some vaping to quiet down his worst urges.

          • EABeem

            You’re not very good at reading for comprehension. I said Abby wrote a thoughtful, well reasoned column. I concluded years ago that cuckoos cannot be reasoned with and the only thing they understand is having their noses rubbed in their own poppycock.

          • Chew H Bird

            Abby wrote a nice column, I just have difficulty with people who insult those who disagree with an opinion and in this case her target is Mr. Trump. We all have opinions and they are all equally valid because opinions are what we believe, That said, facts sometimes get in the way of sensibilities.

            I like to believe on America we are accepting of people different than ourselves. Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump combine to create the least appealing candidate choice I have ever seen. I am desperately seeking to find enough redeeming qualities in either of them to be able to hold my nose and vote but so far is has been an all out race to the bottom of the outhouse.

          • Jimmy_John67

            “I concluded years ago that cuckoos cannot be reasoned with….”

            The old phrase “takes one to know one” has never been more applicable!

          • poppypapa

            Yup; there’s more ‘intellectualism’ to go with his reply to Barbara Fisco. Eddie’s ‘self-comprehension,’ you will note, allows him to perceive only his brief ‘nose in the air’ phrase or two, while remaining oblivious to the steaming paragraph of bile it gets lost in.

      • Aliyah33

        “In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.” I did take the time to look up the definition…and have read Charlotte Iserbyt’s (Senior Policy Advisor, Department of Education under President Regan) books, and understand what you’ve written. I’d hazard a guess EABeem hasn’t read these books. Chew is right, too, it’s a race to the bottom of the outhouse.

      • farmertom2

        Ah, is that the stench of GOP anti-education, anti-intellectualism? Or is it the fumes from a cesspit of ignorance?

      • farmertom2

        See, degrees is a real word with a real, accepted, meaning. That being the case, one doesn’t need to put quotation marks around it. Something people with degrees learn.

  • EABeem

    Fine column, Abby. Donald Trump embodies all that is worst in the American character. He appeals to the least common denominator.

    • poppypapa

      These days, of course, the “most” common denominator is gimme, gimme, gimme, and take, take, take it from others.

      Because that’s ‘a human right.’

  • Charles Martel

    Wow, another Beem wannabee. Aren’t you the least bit familiar with the trail of scandals of Obama and the Clintons and you call Trump an extremist? I guess in this twisted era successful people in the private sector are all evil. Giving pricey speeches to Goldman Sachs among others and taking Saudi donations for one’s foundation for future favors is acceptable.

    • farmertom2

      Successful? The man is a serial bankrupter. And it’s been shown that not only is he a pile of pretty unrestrained id, but that if he had simply taken his inheritance and put it in the stock market, his net worth would be…wait for it…twice what it is now. He’s spent the last several decades losing money. For all his supposed hard work and business acumen, he’s shown a net gain of minus fifty percent.
      And before you cast stones about people taking money for speeches (that’s called being paid for work) I suggest you look at the post-Presidencies of Reagan and Bush I, who were no strangers to significant speech honoraria.

      • Charles Martel

        Read the “Corruption Chronicles” by Tom Fitton. It’s @ 4 years old and doesn’t include all the recent corruption by Obama, Hillary and YES the Republicans. You’ll find that our government is as corrupt as any 3rd world dictatorship, we just disguise it better. At this point, it may be better to bring in an insider to clean up the whole mess.

        • farmertom2

          While I am prepared to say that there might be something in Corruption Chronicles that is true, this:
          In July 2013, Fitton gained widespread attention for judicial watch in
          conservative media after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the
          death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, when Fitton appeared in
          numerous interviews to claim that the Obama administration’s Department
          of Justice had sent representatives to Sanford in the wake of Martin’s
          death “to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George
          Zimmerman.” Politicfact Florida, a fact-checking project sponsored by
          the “Tampa Bay Times,” rated Fitton’s claim “mostly false.”[7]

          suggests TF is not necessarily reliable.

          Clinton would not be my first choice for POTUS but Trump is dead last, tied with Cruz, and just behind Rubio.

          • Charles Martel

            The ME Heritage Policy Center is sponsoring a luncheon for Fitton in Falmouth at PCC on July 21st. Why don’t you attend and ask him a question or two?

            Fyi, Jim Simpson wrote an extensive article on the origins of the BLM movement and its connections with far Left communist/socialist activist organizations. It was a very enlightening read.

          • farmertom2

            Pretty much oppose everything the MHPC stands for. The contention that the state is overwhelmed by high taxes is not accurate, save in the minds of the uncivic. Maine is number 26 of the 50 states, tied in the middle with Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The effective income tax rate is 2.5%. I favor a reduction in sales tax rates, the elimination of the excise tax and an increase in income taxes to make up the difference. Not sure I’d be welcome at the PCC. Pretty place though.

          • Charles Martel

            So, I’m guessing you didn’t read Simpson’s article. If you think it’s fine for Hamas-linked CAIR to be joining with the communist inspired BLM movement funded in part by Soros, then there’s no sense in even discussing the matter. Don’t believe me: see this short video with Nihad Awad himself:

            https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/07/hamas-linked-cairs-nihad-awad-to-muslims-black-lives-matter-is-our-campaign

            If you’re not a fan of the MHPC, then you probably don’t listen to Ray Richardson on WLOB or Howie Carr on WGAN. No doubt Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Mike Gallagher, Sean Hannity, etc. aren’t on your radar either. That’s unfortunate.

            I can’t understand anyone who aligns himself with the Leftist dregs of society. Maybe Savage is right: “Liberalism is a mental disorder.”

          • Kevin McCarthy

            Yet another screed from a flat-out liar and avowed bigot.

          • Charles Martel

            “Truth fears no inquiry. When you have nothing to hide, you generally care little about being exposed.”

          • Kevin McCarthy

            Using a quite often attributed to Joseph Goebbels only confirms your ridiculousness.

          • Charles Martel

            Progressives always resort to name calling because they’re short on facts.

          • farmertom2

            I read the MHPC manifesto or whatever they call it. BLM does not equal communist– anyone who even thinks communism is an issue any more is not living in current reality– where is there any communism? Not in China, not in Russia, not even in Cuba–which made a good try at it, and like the others, failed. I don’t **care** if anyone clams to have communist links or intentions. BLM is a movement whose purpose is to end the unwarranted, extremely disproportionate, negative treatment of black people in the US. Not a big problem in Maine, thank goodness. But I am in favor of HIGHER income taxes for the wealthy, which is the opposite of what MHPC wants, so I don’t really need to look further for, say, points of common interest and agreement.

          • Charles Martel

            The MHPC didn’t write the manifesto. It was Jim Simpson from the Center for Security Policy. If you’re comfortable, for example, with Hamas-linked CAIR and BLM working together, then you have a serious credibility problemy.

          • farmertom2

            “Our declaration” it proclaims at the top of the page. They have to own it
            http://mainepolicy.org/declaration/
            CAIR is not linked with Hamas, the US Government does not consider CAIR a terrorist organization and while CAIR called on BLM to join forces there is actually nothing much to suggest that BLM thought that was a good idea– indeed, I rather expect that 95% of the BLM membership has no idea what CAIR is.
            Which is straying far from the original point, that Abby is correct.

          • Charles Martel

            I agree with MHPC’s Declaration to the tee.

            As FrontPageMag writer Matthew Vaddum has said, “It is wrong to think of Black Lives Matter as merely a movement… It’s a Marxist, anti-American, revolutionary cult whose members aim to unleash a reign of terror on American society.” I expect that the protesters wouldn’t know much about anything except their stupid chants.

            https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/07/opportunist-jihadists-and-black-lives-matter-a-growing-alliance

          • farmertom2

            Yeah, as I said. The Declaration is simply a “taxes are bad” anti-civic, piggy and obviously unchristian screed.
            As for BLM– there isn’t the slightest evidence that BLM has anything to do with Marxism. Marx is dragged out to taint groups conservatives oppose, because Marx and socialism and communism is bad, bad, bad. But BLM is about making he application of law fair. That’s hardly Marxist, in fact it’s a fundamental principle upon which the nation was founded.
            And no mistake– BLM will win. And their win will be a win for everyone, save for racist local governments and racist police departments. When civil rights are expanded, everyone wins save the unjust.

          • Charles Martel

            I disagree 100%. The evidence is everywhere but you refuse to open your eyes. Shouldn’t you still be celebrating Eid al-fitr instead of bothering me?

          • farmertom2

            can’t hep it if you’re bothered by reality.
            and i don’t celebrate the end of ramadan. not my thing. nice that it’s over though, it was tough this year for people who observe it who live in maine. dunno why the muslims didn’t put an extra month in their calendar the way the jews and chinese did

          • Charles Martel

            Their calendar is based on the Hijra and is a lunar calendar.

            Hope to see you at Denish D’Souza’s documentary, “Hillary’s America”.

          • farmertom2

            The Chinese and Jewish calendars are lunar, but they don’t just wander through the solar year. Passover is always in the Spring. Chinese New Year is always in January or February.
            And D’Souza is not ever, ever, worth listening to.

  • Real cool guy

    “Our tallest statue beckons the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.

    We didn’t build the statue of liberty. We just built the pedestal. That silliness came from a 19th century american beatnik poet. She doesn’t speak for or rather dictate American ideals.

    We don’t want your poor or huddled masses! We want your top tier educated, doctors, scientist and engineers!

    • farmertom2

      You don’t even deserve to be called an American.

      • Real cool guy

        You should vote for Trump!

        The two of you can cross people off your list of acceptable Americans.

  • poppypapa

    To be Anti-Clinton is to be pro-American. She is far more dangerous to the future of this country, and epitomizes the corrupt, self-serving nature of our permanent ruling class, whose lock on policy and societal decay she and her loving hubby Willy have helped increase to levels that are beyond imagining not that long ago.

    • EABeem

      And Herr Drumpf was one of their buddies until he realized he could sell a bunch of ignorant and prejudiced rubes on the idea that he was a Republican. “All I gotta do is insult Muslims and Mexicans and the poor whiote trash will love me” He has absolutely no qualifications and has never done anything for anyone else. Meanwhile, the GOP crackpots have spent years and millions trying to pin something on Clinton and all that stuff was their own steaming pile of dung. I am tired of you big government tax-and-spend Republicans trying to tell everyone what to do and eroding American liberties and endangering freedom. If you don’t like America, you should move to one of those totalitarian states you love so much.

      • poppypapa

        Hey, Eddie. Chill. You really need to get control of yourself. You’re not even conscious of the spell check Disqus offers…..

        BTW, can you provide the source of that quote asserting “the poor whiote trash will love me”

        • EABeem

          No chance I’d ever take advice from you, but you would be doing a great public service if you would give the same advice to your buddy in the Blaine House.

          • poppypapa

            Cheez, Eddie! If I thought there was a conservative’s chance in Brunswick that you’d take any advice from me, it would go a lot farther than ‘chill.’

            I thought you clarified on prior column comment threads that I was never going to change your mind, which I think is telling of your ‘openness.’ I have had my mind changed, but not by the likes of you, your idol at the PPH, or the Krugman’s of our Nobel aristocracy. Even those who get their Nobel before the fact.

            It must be awful to think you’re not going to change your reader’s minds, and instead resort to excursions on the et axis when you are challenged, rather than stay on the discussion axis. I mean, what’s the value of speaking only to your Hannaford groupies as a ‘professional journalist?’

            It must be disheartening to know that’s the best you can do from your weekly editorial soap box, after all these years trying.

            So let me be a bit more specific in my suggestion. Perhaps you should check with your therapist and see if there’s a way you can transfer your frequent hysterics to more productive use.

            Most of us who take issue with you tend to find them humorous ‘in the dark sense,’ if not indicative of a melt-down more typical of the “I am your thought leader” elites.

            So there you go Eddie. I’ve been ‘open and affirming.’ Open about my reaction to your scrambled journalistic countenance, and affirming what you think of me by drafting this post.

  • Real cool guy

    To be “anti” anything is pro-American!? To be “against” something is pro-American!?

    Dear Abby, you sound confused. If your values, and opinions don’t align by all means don’t vote for the man. I know I won’t either. (The wall he proposes disrupts the migratory movement of regional native wildlife species. No, I’m not talking about the Spanish only speaking Mexicans Lucas tree hires to spray chemicals on trees in our off leash dog parks under another’s license while the white fat supervisors sit in the truck and wait)

    To appose the man on a personal level specifically is just an ignorant redneck inbread thought process. In my opinion of course.

  • Real cool guy

    We celebrate July 4th on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th of July (depending on locality in an effort to avoid competing commercial with another principalities funnel cakes) because of what happened in 1776, not some other date in 1828 or 1854!? Are you sure!?

    You don’t know what your talking about Abby (stolen moniker pot hole road). Original. Real nice.

    We light up ever battle. Every single battle is lit up with incendiary devices in order to see our opponent and in an effort to see each other and that 12 meter drop that was plain as day before darkness fell.

    You like the song/poem? You think the fireworks are about a flag? In 1776 only!?

    Grow up little girl. It’s about every single conflict men have fought and will fight since the dawn of time until the end of time.

    • farmertom2

      No, it’s not. You’re confusing Memorial Day with the Fourth of July, hardly a surprise from someone who doesn’t seem to realize there is a difference between your and you’re.

      • Real cool guy

        “No, it’s not?” What’s not? Memorial Day… or is it Armistice day considering the dates I referenced!?

        Good job genius. You’re attacking auto correct. That ought to show me! 😉

        • farmertom2

          No, it’s not autocorrect. You were wrong. It’s the 4th of July, period. the other events are celebrated at Memorial Day.

  • farmertom2

    Abby nails it. Trump is everything this nation should strive against.

  • Mike E

    Thoughtful, well-considered, and substantiated. Unfortunately, that’s not good enough for a lot of people who stubbornly see Trump as a necessary political monkey wrench. But I appreciate your words, Abby, and keep fighting the good fight!