Letter: American vitriol

To the Editor:

I agree somewhat with Francis Cakavell that no one should claim to speak for the American people right now. We are a divided people. More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump, but under the Constitution, Trump is president. More people voted collectively for the Democrats currently in Congress than for the Republicans, but millions of eligible voters did not vote at all. Should a national majority rule? What about states’ rights? In truth, states' rights has been a mechanism for a minority clique of white wealthy people to govern in many states, not for the exercise of power by the local people.

Who is the economic “surge” benefiting and for how long? It is a stock market surge anticipating lower taxes on corporate profits and deregulation of banks and other large corporations. Lower unemployment is based on the substitution of lower wage jobs without benefits for what were once higher wage, good benefits jobs. We will learn the hard way once again that so-called free markets do not suffice to regulate abuses by big business.

When parallels are drawn between the Nazis and Trumpies, protest is heard even from moderates. No one believes nor asserts that concentration camps and gas chambers are in the offing. But, history can attest that incessant attacks on a responsible professional media, an independent legal apparatus, a skilled professional intelligence service, objective scientific inquiry — casting doubt everywhere, are mechanisms fostering the rise of a single party and a cult of authoritarian leadership.

Daniel C. Hudson

Silver Spring Park, Jan. 25