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8/3/2018 4:18:00 PM
EDITORIAL: Vague fear of 'others'

Kokomo Tribune

When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump called for an outright ban of Muslims entering the country inDecember 2015, he drew heat from many corners, including some traditionally conservative characters.

While it seemed at the time like new levels of vitriol were being unleashed, Trump was playing a very old game. Over the course of this country’s history, many before him have used the idea of some vague, generalized fear of an “other” to whip up support for their personal gain. Surely, many after him will, as well.

Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy had the communists. Alabama Gov. George Wallace had African Americans. Many groups have had their time under the scrutiny of a paranoid American populace: Chinese Americans, Jews, Catholics, Irish Americans and Italian Americans. The list goes on and on.

What made Trump’s assertions so poisonous was not limited to his campaign. He opened the door for others to speak openly in the same fashion. Whereas before such sentiments were relegated to the dark corners of conversations, those with hate in their hearts now had an opening to express themselves.

They did in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a white-nationalist rally a year ago this month. After a car barreled through the crowd protesting the rally, killing a woman and injuring a couple of dozen others, the president falsely asserted those peacefully protesting were just as culpable for the violence.

And they did outside a Carmel synagogue Saturday, defiling a wall with spray-painted swastikas and a Nazi flag.

We live in a pluralistic society. We are not homogeneous in any sense. We are all mixed together in this country, which is exactly what makes us great.

Holding a minority religious or political viewpoint doesn’t make someone evil. It’s un-American to assert otherwise.

Trump is incredibly cynical. He knows a lot of people feel this way, and he’s just shameless enough to tap into that fervor.

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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