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Letter: Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

As I have mentioned before, I love Republicans. They give me hope. The latest Republican to elicit my admiration is Capt. “Sully” Sullenberg, (played by Tom Hanks in the movie), the hero who landed U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River and was instrumental in ensuring everyone on board was saved before exiting the plane himself.

Sully worked for weeks on an editorial recently published in the Washington Post, which he originally intended to title “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” because that is how grave he believes the danger this country is in under our president and the Republican Congress — a Congress which is refusing to do its duty, which is to restrain Trump’s worst instincts and impulses.

In an interview on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” Sully said a leader leads from the front. He leads with respect. He is responsible, and he must inspire people to a purpose higher than themselves. Lawrence asked him what he would say to the president if he could talk to him. Sully said he found the president remarkably incurious, and believed he had no interest in learning nor is he capable of learning. So, he would speak to the people instead, and he would say that everyone must vote for Democrats so there will be a check on the president and his assault on the truth.

Sully is only one of many good Republicans who are saying this. Either we can be the nation of paranoia, fear and hate, or we can be the nation we have historically been. Trump has made this country ugly. Nigeria referenced Trump saying soldiers could fire on kids with rocks at the border in its killing of civilians in Nigeria, and Brazil’s new authoritarian president says he emulates Trump.

Both Trump and former President Obama spoke in Florida. Trump was his usual ugly self, inciting his followers to a frenzy of hate against fellow Americans, enjoying their booing and hysteria. This man, who I believe is a criminal, who has lived a life of privilege since birth, is eternally aggrieved. His followers love it because it grants them permission to feel aggrieved as well and (implicitly) to act on their grievances. In contrast, Obama told his attendees to not boo the hecklers at his event. He certainly never encouraged them to “beat the crap” out of them, as Trump has done. He spoke of hope, and caring for each other. He encouraged them to change the world not by committing violence but by voting.

Some of the many notable Republicans who urged people to vote blue are Bill Kristol, Jennifer Rubin, Max Boot, David Jolly, John Brennan, Nicole Wallace, Steve Schmidt, Chalie Sykes, Michael Steele, Joe Scarborough, Rick Wilson, former Republican Sen. John Warner and a number of former military leaders, among them retired Four-Star Gen. Michael Hayden, who said, “Until now it was not possible for me to conceive of an American president capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press or the First Amendment.”

Lonna Gooden Van Horn