On June 18, Del. Todd Gilbert stated on his Facebook page, “You can argue with his style, you can argue with the delivery, but you can’t argue with the results. We have never been so prosperous, safe, and free in my lifetime.”
Plenty of residents of his district disagree.
Style and delivery matter. It matters that Trump says white supremacists have “good people” on their side. It matters that Trump calls people by schoolyard bully nicknames. It matters that he calls the press the “enemy of the people,” revokes press credentials for news outlets he disagrees with, and doesn’t hold press conferences. It matters that he tells subordinates to ignore legal congressional subpoenas. It matters that we have to tell our children that we expect them to behave better than the president of the United States. Trump’s attacks on American institutions and traditions are reminiscent of what happens when nations abandon democracy. For Gilbert to gloss over these transgressions indicates he is no longer fit to serve.
As for results:
Trump’s tariffs caused farm income to plummet by 12 percent in 2018, and his much-touted tax cuts gave the poorest 20% of workers an annual increase of a whopping $60 (while giving the rich and corporations billions and exploding the deficit). Hate crimes have increased at least 17% since Trump took office. Trump’s Justice Department argued that anti-gay discrimination is legal. Under the Trump administration’s deregulation, chicken processing plants like those in our valley can now operate at faster speeds, compromising worker safety. And at our southern border, children are being denied toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap and beds. They are being denied health care and legal representation. At least seven migrant children have died while held in the custody of the United States. This isn’t prosperous, safe and free. If Gilbert thinks these are the kind of results the good, decent residents of the Shenandoah Valley can get behind, he is mistaken. I know we can do better. I know we must do better.
Jeanne Theis, Woodstock