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home : opinions : letters to the editor
October 17, 2019

2/9/2017 7:28:00 AM
The resistance has just begun

To the editor:

It was pretty cold, around 20 degrees, the wind whipping. But around 50 of us were outside tiny Rhinelander airport last Saturday afternoon. Signs said, "No Ban No Wall," "Resist Hate and Fear," and "I'm With Her" next to a picture of Lady Liberty. It was an event organized by Northwoods Progressives, joining rallies throughout the country and around the world.

When I was growing up, the Statue of Liberty was an icon of what America is all about. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Patriotism was upholding those and similar values in the face of demagogues like Joseph McCarthy.

Here we are again, fighting the politics of fear. This time it isn't the commies, it's the Muslims and Mexicans. Never mind that Trump's immigration ban has made us much less safe by being the greatest recruiting device ISIS has ever had, by being an effective motivator for potential terrorists already in the U.S., by being a knife that divides us not only from the Muslim world but from our own allies. (And never mind that Muslim countries in which Trump has business interests are excluded from the ban, though they supplied the 9/11 and San Bernardino terrorists.) For Trump, as well as our own Rep. Sean Duffy, the ban and the wall makes them feel big and strong.

But it's really a sign of weakness, like Trump's juvenile tweets. And it weakens our country because it goes against America's fundamental values of inclusiveness, benevolence, and democracy, the sources of real patriotism. The higher courts will likely uphold the federal judge's ruling striking down the ban, because we still live in a country of laws, much to Trump's dismay. In any event, groups such as Northwoods Progressives and many others will continue to organize events, letter-writing, phone calls, and town hall participation to resist Trump's dangerous policies and the Republican Party's politics of exclusion and fear.

At the airport, a Trump supporter was driving away and, thinking of the election, yelled out his window, "It's over!" We looked at each other, then called back, "No, this is only the beginning."

David Barnhill


Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, February 12, 2017
Article comment by: Stephen Maas

David, I applaud you and everyone in your group. We will not allow this administration and what it stands for (Money????), to try to do whatever it wants to do.

Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2017
Article comment by: Reginald Abbott

David, exactly how many of the huddled masses are you sponsoring in your home at no expense to the government? I bet you want the conservatives to pay to place the huddled masses into their neighborhoods. Money talks, liberals walk. Your ideas lost in the election. Get over it.

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