David A. Graham: Trump is flaunting his impunity
Those in the audience on the South Lawn of the White House might have believed their lives were their own to lose, but after their big night, they now risk infecting other Americans. Trump and the GOP have decided not to heed science, leaving us helpless during a plague. But as far as I know, plagues don’t care about reelection campaigns. They don’t wither in the face of the Secret Service or succumb to the intimidation of goon squads. And they don’t respect the families of gluttonous aspiring monarchs.
How did a bourgeois New York con artist convince so many people he was on their side? Was it the trucker’s hat? I’m wearing sandals right now, but that doesn’t make me Gandhi. Was it the fawning coverage on cable news? I know funny; Fox News is a joke that’s not funny, and it’s being told at the expense of our democracy. Was it his performances on the WWF or The Apprentice? I was amused to see Trump play the self-made billionaire in Home Alone 2, but the presidency is not performance art. People’s lives depend on him. Our future is at stake.
Where did the modern Republican Party’s cruelty come from? Too many Americans support Trump because he appeals to their basest and most primitive urges, through his racism, his misogyny, his mockery of the disabled, and his encouragement of violence during his campaign. If you consider yourself a patriot, know full well that the direction the Republican Party has taken threatens to obliterate America’s once hopeful experiment in liberty.
Adam Serwer: The cruelty is the point
Trump’s party has no platform other than the promise of more wealth for the few and “law and order” for the dispossessed. His presidency has seen markets rise, and corporations prosper, even as ordinary Americans suffer and go without, in this economy of larceny and lies. This is true even for his most devoted supporters, who are now fully aware that he is trying to sabotage our election. I only hope the red hats are edible.
America has always been redeemed by those who challenge it to do better. Today, some true patriots refuse to stand for an anthem that has never stood for all Americans, challenging the country to live up to its ideals. If Americans can look out for one another, we can gain back our self-respect, and the respect of our allies around the world. When our anthem stands for love, tolerance, courage, and everything our better angels value, then we can all stand together.
When I was a little boy in Canada, I watched old Superman reruns, and fell in love with the United States. I was blessed to be able to come here, and to realize my wildest dreams. In 2004, I proudly became a citizen. But lately, my adopted home has become almost unrecognizable. Whatever happened to “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”? That line was written when the Nazis were ravaging Europe and America was the hero of the world. It’s more than a line in a TV show; it’s a set of ideals we should always aspire to uphold.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: The America I love needs to do better
In November, we must vote in historic numbers, gathering all the “snowflakes” until there’s a blizzard on Capitol Hill that no corrupt politician can survive. We must vote for decency, humanity, and a way of life that once again captures the imagination of kids all over the world—kids like me.