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This Trump stuff really started with Reagan's support of Goldwater

To The Daily Sun,

The people who are supporting Donald Trump are those same people who often claim they "hate" President Obama. President Obama has not "created" the Trump phenomena, racism has. Hate and racism are unreasonable. They have no basis in logic or fact. Their only basis is fear. Fear from conservatives that somehow, a successful black man as president is something to be afraid of. Because — let's be honest — he has not threatened the Constitution. Of all the presidents in the past 60 years, President Obama probably understands the Constitution better than anyone other than the SCOTUS. He has not advocated taking away anyone's guns. He isn't fomenting civil war or martial law. He's not Muslim, and even if he was, who really cares? Christians do. Conservative Christians care. They believe that the United States is a God-fearing, white-Christian country, founded by white Christians for white Christians. And no one other than a white Christian should ever be president.

But let's go back further. Where did it all really start? Two words. Ronald Reagan. President Reagan's support of Barry Goldwater in 1964 called for a return to "solid conservative principles." No Medicare. No Medicaid. A God-based government. Do you remember how he sidled up to George Wallace's racist supporters in 1980 to thank them for their commitment? And when he became president, he invited the Jerry Falwells, Pat Robertsons, Bill Grahams, and Christian Coalitions into the White House and said, "We stand with you." His "aww shucks" personality hid an agenda to move the United States away from the liberal policies of Jimmy Carter and even from the progressive policies of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. His economics — "trickle down" — were the worst kind of drivel and he funded his tax cuts for the rich by gutting IRS tax codes that supported the middle class.

Do any of you remember three- and five-year income averaging for people who had gotten a serious pay raise? Like I did when I left the military? Do you remember credit card interest deductions? Sales tax deductions? How about when Reagan eliminated the FCC's Fairness Doctrine in 1987 that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced. That's right — Ronald Reagan gave birth to Fox News.
It took eight years of Bill Clinton economics in order to recover from eight years of Reaganomics and four years of Bush hybrid economics. The United States came very close to a financial precipice toward the end of the Reagan years, while that administration broke the law by selling weapons to Iran to funnel money to Nicaragua. Don't you remember?

Then we got eight more years of "Reaganomics Lite" in the guise of George W. Bush with his wars in Iran and Afghanistan based on more lies that cost the United States tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of American lives. The deregulation of banks caused the mortgage crisis that almost led us into a second Great Depression. Please tell me you can remember back that far??

Then we elected a man born of a white Christian woman and a black Muslim man who was here on a student Visa. And with that the wheels came off the bus. The ignorant and racist conservative Christians who supported George W. Bush now had someone to blame. He was black. He was different. He had a funny name. And he was liberal. And his policies helped to pull us back from the fiscal brink and actually started to grow the economy. And God forbid that some black Muslim-like man of questionable birth should be given credit for saving all our backsides after George W. Bush's nonsensical economic failures ruined the job market and the financial markets.

And yet even in the midst of all this economic turmoil, our economy was still preferable to Mexico or many other countries ... and so immigrants kept on coming — legal and illegal. And to maintain the United States as the place that opened its arm to the world, President Obama got blamed for the loss of all the jobs that our lazy and entitled fannies wouldn't consider: McDonalds and Burger King and office cleaners and garbage men and landscapers. The kinds of jobs I held as a teenager.

And all that hate and all that frustration and the associated anger based on a loss of power and a fear of the unknown and white privilege drove the Tea Party and the Christian right to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Donald Trump — a bullying, racist, bigoted, misogynist, morally bankrupt, lying, self-aggrandizing, crude and loathsome piece of offal. Donald Trump — now the true standard-bearer for the modern Republican Party. That Grand Old Party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Ike.

So don't blame President Obama. Look in the mirror and blame yourself and those dark places in your soul where the dirt and filth accumulate; where all those things you allowed to slide by in conversations reside; where your own fears hide. Look there and see why Trump is winning. And be ashamed.

And know why I am constantly editorializing about guns or #BlackLivesMatter or partisan politics. Because when you silence your voice of reason and compassion and don't speak up? You are as guilty as if you pulled the trigger, or wore that sheet, or spit on that Vietnam vet. And in the end? You'll get exactly what you deserve. And I pray hard that it's not a country that is the laughingstock of the world.

Alan Vervaeke
Gilford

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8 all-you-can-eat soups and more at our 5th Annual Soupathon

To The Daily Sun,

We invite the community to attend our fifth annual Soupathon to benefit Hands Across the Table on Friday evening, April 8, from 5 to 7:30 at the St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall on Gilford Avenue in Laconia. Tickets will be available at the door.

Come and enjoy eight all-you-can-eat soups, salad and delicious homemade cookies as well as tastings of additional soups all with an international flair. This year's theme is Soups of our Heritage, featuring soups our ancestors brought to this country. Thanks to our wonderful community of volunteers, sponsors and Board Members, HATT provides as many as 150 hot meals every Wednesday night.

Come enjoy some soup and help feed others in the process!

Irene Gordon

Ginger Wells-Kay

Soupathon Co-Chairs

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