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'Four Horsemen' endangering democracy

President Donald Trump rallies for Republican Senate candidates

President Donald Trump rallies for Republican Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Dalton, Georgia, on Monday. Credit: The Washington Post/Jabin Botsford

In 1954, Army lawyer Joseph Welch asked Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) and, by default, his chief counsel, Roy Cohn, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" President Donald Trump should be asked the same question now. He has tried to bully Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find 11,780 votes. This latest irresponsible, threatening act adds to Trump’s pile of irresponsible rhetoric, false claims, lies, belligerent and divisive comments, self-centered actions and misguided policies of the past four years. Trump somehow should be held accountable for his behavior as McCarthy and Cohn were. McCarthy was condemned by fellow senators and Cohn eventually disbarred. The Cold War and McCarthyism had been souring the nation’s spirit, and in 1950, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine) delivered "The Declaration of Conscience" speech to the Senate. She expressed hopes for the nation, stating, "I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny — Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear." It seems Trump has harnessed the Four Horsemen, which are now endangering our democracy. Hopefully, citizens of our nation will corral and control the stampede and follow a path of unity in 2021.

Fred Drewes,

Mount Sinai

From before the 2016 election to now, President Donald Trump has been heard on tapes that imply he believes he is entitled to commit immoral and/or illegal acts. He seems to have learned nothing: In his recorded phone call to Georgia officials, he pressures the secretary of state to "just find 11,780 votes" and steal the election from President-elect Joe Biden. In 2016, the "Access Hollywood" recording revealed Trump’s misogyny about grabbing women; he nevertheless won the election. Trump was impeached in 2019 largely because of a Ukraine phone call transcript in which he pushed that nation’s president to dig up dirt on Biden’s family to smear them: "do us a favor." Trump wasn’t convicted. In 2020, audio of Trump and journalist Bob Woodward showed Trump misled the public about the mortal threat of COVID-19: "It is the plague," spread through air and deadly especially to those with comorbidities. Trump knew in January; in April, he tweeted, "The Invisible Enemy will soon be in full retreat!" More than 350,000 have died on his watch. Trump will not learn. The question is: Will America?

Hank Cierski,

Port Jefferson Station

So when Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) was asked on CNN about President Donald Trump’s phone to Georgia’s secretary of state, Zeldin’s response was to criticize the media? For "not having a full and honest discussion"? Seriously? And what should that discussion be? That Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger should have warned Trump that he was being recorded? That Trump was just frustrated with the legal result of the election and should be given a pass on his actions? Or should the discussion be about Trump impeding the peaceful transfer of power? Or maybe the discussion should be about the achievements of the Trump presidency and how Zeldin is looking forward to working with the new president? Or maybe a discussion about the substance of Trump’s phone call rather than how the public found out about the call? Zeldin should answer the question asked rather than deflect and play a misdirection game.

Bill Etzel,

Manorville

I believe that President Donald Trump was a con man when he came in. He is a con man as he is going out. When the criminal justice system gets through with him, I assume he will be an ex-con. My dad used to tell us the quote, "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." Apparently our desperate and dangerous president never learned that.

Howard Mandell,

East Northport

It should surprise no one that President Donald Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" votes that could overturn his election loss in that state. This sitting president has been "gaming" the system all of his life. Notwithstanding the office he occupies, to me he’s still a grifter, a con man. He thinks everyone else is as devious and conniving as he is, so he accuses others of doing exactly what he would do. As he said many times, his heroes are the ones who don’t get caught.

Martin Geller,

Manhasset

If you believe America is in great peril from a massive wave of immigrants harboring criminal intent determined to steal your job and corrupt life as you know it; our allies are no longer worthy of our trust and support; our investment in the world fosters contempt rather than gratitude; our best interests are served by indulging despots; making America great again requires raising our desires above all else and divorcing ourselves from the service of others; it is acceptable for a sitting president to call an election official and demand that votes be "found" to change the will of the people, usurping one of our most cherished rights — then support President Donald Trump in his endeavor. But be careful what you wish for because I fear our "shining city on a hill" will darken and become a dystopic wasteland.

Ed Weinert,

Melville

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