26 May, 2017
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Re: Your new colleague
I see you have a new colleague in the US House of Representatives, Greg Gianforte of Montana. Despite his display of unprovoked violence the night before the election, the people of his state re-elected him to this high office.
I’m left wondering if the result would have been the same had the incident occurred a day earlier? What do you think? Would the Montana Republican electorate have been swayed by their candidate’s physical attack on a journalist who was doing no more than his job, in asking questions? Have we become so inured to the public display of this kind of belligerence that we shrug it off as unimportant, even acceptable? It was a frequent—and apparently popular—part of your president’s* 2016 campaign, and one that was explicitly encouraged by the candidate, who now struts the world stage, his bullying on global display.
What is the world to think of us? Fair or not, there was always the impression, as I was growing up in Europe, that Americans were too big for their boots; that these New Worlders, these conquerors, lacked the courtesy, the manners and cultural sophistication of the countries they swept through in the Second World War. That impression now risks being confirmed by the image Trump projects: the rude, self-important, opinionated boor who cares for nothing other than himself, his money, and his power.
I am sad for America. I am sad for myself, as a relatively new American, who chose this country for all the wonderful qualities now obscured by this president* with his relatively small band of supporters and his Republican enablers. America, it has often been said, is better than this. Or should be.
Peter Clothier, Ph.D.