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Paid political letter: I value the USA being great

As a baby boomer, I grew up in the global glow of the United States winning the praise of free nations by our participation in World War II. As a nation, we have not been perfect in international relationships, but we have fought for freedom and democracy. We have had great alliances. We have led the world. Do you value our leadership in the world?

My father, Valdemar Xavier, served in WWII. His brother died fighting in France. Another brother served in the underground in France before the D-Day invasion. The United States was great. After WWII, the Soviet Union and North Korea were seen as our enemies. The leadership of those countries has not been for freedom and democracy.

Suddenly, when Donald Trump became president, he turned on our freedom-loving friends and made personal friends of the leaders of the countries we understand as being opposed to the United States. That reversal of our national values has never made any sense to me. I value our longtime leadership in the world.

Donald Trump is not interested in being briefed by military intelligence. He has said that he is better than the generals. Recently, hundreds of retired generals and admirals have come out against Donald Trump’s leadership.

Outside of politics, my relationship with the world has been through the Lutheran Church. I have lived in the glow of what Christians have done around the world to help others.

We in the Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA have an ongoing partnership with the Central Diocese of the Lutheran Church in Tanzania. At the beginning of this year I had the privilege to go to teach in the Bible school there. The school was started by the Augustana Lutheran Synod that my mother grew up in. (The Augustana Synod founded Gustavus College in St. Peter.) My term was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our synod also has a partnership with the Lutheran Church in Columbia.

Like our government, not everything churches have done around the world has been good. But a lot of what we have done has been great. What churches have done has given people around the world the vision that America is great.

Because of the words of President Trump, we are no longer great in the eyes of people around the world. The foreign policy of Donald Trump has been, “I can get a better deal.” It is only about the “deal” for Donald Trump. It is not about freedom and democracy for other people. It is not about a good relationship with these other countries. It is not about the United States actually being great in the world.

If you value the United States being a leader for building freedom and democracy around the world, vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Vote for Tina Smith. Vote for Dan Feehan. Vote for Thomas Martinez. Vote for Dan Sparks.

Joel Xavier

Ellendale