Editor, Daily Press:
As Ronald Reagan famously said, "There you go again,” an observation that can be made about Mr. Fair’s column in the Wednesday, Sept. 2 paper.
In an earlier column, he recommended the Republican Party not miss the opportunity presented by its convention to focus on policy. On Sept. 2 he reported, but glossed over, the missed opportunity: “The GOP platform for 2016 was rolled over to 2020,” but states the convention was good for the “average American.” How? There was no change from 2016, so one can borrow another phrase from Reagan: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
The list of 50 priorities belie the fact that the “promises made, promises kept” mantra of the Trump campaign are largely not so. He did deliver some, mostly to wealthy and privileged few, and others that have zero effect on the “average American.” Reduce taxes? Yes, for the wealthy and corporations (permanent) while marginally for the “average American" (temporary). Withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord? Kept, while climate change continues to ravage the planet. Supreme Court? We know the answer. Bombing ISIS? Check. Moving Israeli Embassy? Check. But what is the impact of these on the “average American"?
Bring the troops home? No, and those still there are, according to the U.S. intelligence service, targeted by bounties offered by Russians. As in Helsinki, Trump defers to Putin when he denies any such action. Most soldiers are “average Americans,” and their families are, too. Trade deals? Partially; impact on the “average American"? Marginal. It's hard to make any observation given the pandemic, but our trade deficit was $50 billion, and now it’s $58 billion. Again, impact on the “average American"? My grocery bill has gone way up. Cars and trucks are more expensive.
Ban Muslims? Partially. Impact on the “average American"? Zero. Ban travel to Cuba? Partially, but how is that impacting the “average American"? Repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act? Somewhat, but where is that “beautiful” plan to lower costs and cover everyone? This does impact the “average American,” as health care is important to all of us. But four years is a long time to develop an alternative to what Mr. Trump has deemed a “disaster." A border wall paid for by Mexico? A few miles of border wall, but paid for by diverting Pentagon resources for troop housing. Deporting illegal immigrants? No. Rebuilding infrastructure? No. This was supported and impacts all of us with our roadways, water and electric infrastructure and air quality, but no progress. Ditch NATO? Abandoned. Prosecute Hillary Clinton? Abandoned.
Mr. Fair tells us the Republican convention spoke to the “average American,” while the Democratic convention “pandered to the radicals.” I guess that proves the adage, "Where you stand depends on where you sit,” because from where I sit, we must have seen two different conventions: one dark and foreboding, full of fear and anger; one looking forward and hopeful and working toward reunifying a divided nation.