Letter: Bury the monster

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To the Editor:

At our southern borders, Donald Trump separates little children from their parents, and confines them to sub-par facilities where several die. He ignores, dismisses, and refuses to take the remedial national action needed — such as shutting down businesses — in order to confine the national COVID-19 epidemic that's killing thousands of people. Thus, over the lives of people, he favors a robust economy that may in his eyes help get him reelected. He initiates a law suit intended to deprive millions of people of the healthcare they desperately need. He tries to build a wall that will prevent thousands of endangered people from finding refuge in the U.S., that has — as our Statue of Liberty declares — historically been the safe haven for the oppressed.

What, but an utter incapacity to love, could prompt these attitudes and actions? What but pure hatred feeds Trump's viscous racism implicit in his condoning of white supremacists? And what more than lovelessness denotes a miscreant? Even more distressing, what primitive blindness prevents so many Americans from seeing the Minotaur right before their eyes — the conscienceless monster determined to devour them so that he can feed himself? And Donald Trump is indeed conscienceless, being a sociopath incapable of love or empathy, as proven by his actions.

His ascendency to presidential power through democratic process tempts a lapse into misanthropy. But that would not only be unfair, but incorrect: Since we descended from the trees, homo sapiens has been on a developmental continuum, with some segments being less developed than others. This development seems best measured by the capacity to love, which, in turn, manifests itself in an increased value of life. It was not that long ago, in broader historical terms, that the highly civilized society that gave us Virgil and Horace took pleasure in seeing two gladiators trying to kill each other — a Roman spectacle that would horrify today's audiences. And it was only a few decades ago that capital punishment — now outlawed in most societies and in many of our states — was blithely accepted.

With love being the sign of development, it is the less developed among us who see their counterpart in the stunted, loveless Trump. Fortunately, they constitute a minority, Trump having won the presidency though falling three million short in the popular vote. A repeat of this victory is not likely, Trump losing badly in most of today's polling. This is cause for great optimism concerning human development: Love seems to be winning over Trump-promulgated hatred. As Theseus navigated the labyrinth of Crete in order to kill the Minotaur at its center, the people will find their way through the Trump labyrinth of deceit, and bury the monster in the November elections.

Andrew Torre,




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