Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 29, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 29, 2020 






Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

After a 2 . hour discussion with the 
editor of this newspaper I have been 
invited to submit weekly interviews 
with selected persons in addition to 
my regular articles. 

 As such, it is my plan to interview 
the type of regular people whose 
concerns, hopes, and beliefs seldom 
reach the printed page. 

 Of course I will be hampered by the 
coronavirus limitations which prevent 
me from leaving the house. 

 Absent that ability I am going to 
utilize my iPhone to contact parents 
struggling with what is best for the 
children at this difficult time. 

 I plan to telephonically interview 
doctors about their current 
experiences and their vision of the 
future including speculation about 
medical breakthroughs. I will ask if 
they are happy with their choice of 
profession or now wish they were 
doing something else. I will ask those 
physicians if they would like to see 
their children follow in their footsteps 
and what kind of encouragement and 
direction are they providing to those 

 It is also my plan to interview 
undergraduate and graduate student 
about the way their lives have been 
impacted by the virus and if it has 
changed their future plans. 

 Similarly I hope to interview 
professors, teachers, and scientists 
regarding how they made their career 
choices and how their plans have been 

 I want to talk to essential workers like 
mailmen, police officers, firemen, and 
service workers about what it’s like to 
continue to work even at the risk of 
losing their lives. I wonder if they feel 
appreciated or wish they could afford 
to stay home.

 I also plan to question people 
quarantined by themselves or with 
their significant other to determine 
if sheltering in place orders have had 
any effect on their stability. It is my 
experience that just staying calm and 
not taking out my stress on my wife 
has become increasingly difficult. I 
wonder if other domestic couples 
share these difficulties and if there 
are any helpful suggestions that might 
make this all a little easier. 

 I plan to contact ex-clients of my 
own who have recently been released 
from prison to learn how they are 
coping with this new unexpected 
world. In the legal field I hope to 
contact attorneys working with drug 
and alcohol rehabilitation programs 
to learn how successfully these 
programs are operating and if there 
are any helpful suggestions.

 Of course I plan to contact 
local small business owners to see 
how their businesses and plans for 
expansion have been affected. 

 Additionally I plan on contacting the 
campaigns of political candidates and 
to enroll in their training programs 
and phone banking efforts in order 
to contact potential voters, perhaps 
gaining some insight into how the 
coming election will be affected. 

 I have a few friends living on different 
continents and in different parts of 
the United States and will inquire as 
to how our struggles are viewed and 
what their present lives are like.

 I could go on describing my potential 
inquiries but I want to clarify my 

 First I think it will be of great 
benefit to learn something about the 
lives of others whose voices are rarely 
presented to the public. I believe that 
by doing this I will be of assistance 
to make the world a little more 
understandable to everyone. 

 We are not alone, even though it may 
feel that way now and, in fact we are 
all connected.


 Frankly, I admit that this opportunity 
allows this retired old lawyer believe 
he still has something to contribute, 
something that may make a difference 
in other people’s lives and 

 I hope you, my loyal, perhaps only 
imagined readers, are able to join in 
my elation. Be prepared these new 
interviews will, with a little luck, 
begin next week.

 Please take care and do the best you 

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More than 16 hours of political conventions over two weeks 
boiled down to a single word: fear.

Democrats spent most of their time stoking their brand of 
fear – appropriately, in my view – about the damage a second 
Trump term would cause. 

Republicans in turn focused almost entirely on the threat 
posed by Joe Biden – with the president saying Biden will “demolish our cherished 
destiny” and “give free reign to violent anarchists who threaten our citizens.”

Conducting conventions in a pandemic was bound to be unorthodox. But what 
Americans got over these two weeks was positively surreal.

Beyond partisan fear-mongering, the only other issue of significance at both conventions 
seemed to be the pandemic itself. Democrats reminded us of the horrific 
death toll and the Trump administration’s blunders in dealing with the coronavirus. 
Republicans, on the other hand, acted as if the pandemic had passed and staged a 
non-socially-distanced celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, with 
few masks in view.

What does it say about two conventions when the best speeches are given by women 
who have never run for anything: Michelle Obama and Melania Trump? Both 
spoke calmly and effectively, in from-the-heart style. Of course, as non-politicians 
they weren’t expected to make campaign promises. Judging by this year’s conventions, 
both parties are too frightened to articulate many actual policies.

This is unfortunate because Democrats actually have a platform. It’s detailed in 
a single-spaced, 92-page DNC document that voters aren’t hearing much about. 
Included are such things as expanding unemployment insurance, a $15 minimum 
wage, 12 weeks of paid family leave, universal background checks on gun purchases, 
and free public college for students whose families earn less than $125,000 annually. 
The DNC platform also calls for abolishing the death penalty and granting 
statehood to the District of Columbia.

Yet, in their eight precious hours of TV time, Democrats barely mentioned any 
of these important reasons to support the Biden-Harris ticket. In fact, neither Joe 
Biden nor Kamala Harris spoke about them at all. Biden’s speech, for all its rave 
reviews, was devoted to, “Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. 
Decency, science, democracy…”

Is it wise for Democrats to run a campaign that steers so clear of specifics? As for 
the Republican National Committee, its members cared so little about an agenda 
that they voted to simply skip having a platform.

But with the advantage of going in the second week, Trump seized on the fact that 
Democrats had offered little substance. He used some of his 71 minutes Thursday 
night to lay out a few second-term goals. He promised more tax cuts, more police, 
more energy development and “a new age of American ambition in space” that 
lands the first woman on the moon.

For all their split-screen Zooming, why didn’t Democrats devote a bit of convention 
time to actual policies? In Biden’s acceptance speech, other than pledging to close 
tax loopholes he mentioned only one specific new policy: “We’ll have a national 
mandate to wear a mask.”

Those of us who hoped the conventions would provide a meaningful start to real 
campaigning in this pandemic-plagued election will now have to wait for the first 
of three presidential debates on Sept. 29. Surely Trump and Biden will get beyond 
fanning fears about each other when they meet face to face, right?

During eight nights of conventioneering, the two men actually agreed on one thing. 
Said Biden, “This is a life-changing election that will determine America’s future for 
a very long time.” Said Trump, “This is the most important election in the history 
of our country.”

Neither man dwelled on chickens in every pot. Only fear at every kitchen table.


Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at and 

Aw, gee. The Trumpist Republicans have broken their 
promise. Who could have ever seen that coming?

They vowed to stage an upbeat, optimistic convention 
– to offer, in the words of chairwoman Ronna 
McDaniel, “an aspirational vision toward the next 
four years.” But what we got instead on the first night was the apocalyptic 
message that Donald Trump is all that protects us from the radical left 
anarchist rioting Godless commie socialists who aim to torch the decadent 
cities and lay waste to the Caucasian McMansions of suburbia.

If nothing else, Trump’s crew knows how to stay on message no matter 
what. The 2020 Republican National Convention opened with their 
post office lackey being grilled by a House committee, the news that their 
top evangelical fanboy (Jerry Falwell Jr.) watched his wife (a Women for 
Trump board member) have sex with the pool boy, and a recording of 
Trump’s own sister saying the president has “no principles.” Oh, and 27 
ex-Republican lawmakers and 73 ex-Republican national security officials 
announced their endorsed Joe Biden.

It was downright Orwellian to hear them hail Trump as the sworn enemy 
of communists, given the fact that Trump has spent his tenure licking 
the shoes of a former KGB agent and writing love letters to the commie 
of North Korea. It was similarly weird to hear them hail Trump as the 
peerless savior who rescued us from the virus, given his track record of 
quackery and denial, and an ever-escalating death toll that has torn apart 
families and humiliated us worldwide.

But that’s what happens when a party stands for nothing except a cult of 
pathological personality.

The GOP, which once stood for small government and limited executive 
power, is now nothing more than a malleable instrument of der leader’s 
whim. Its apparatchiks decided – for the first time since the party’s founding 
in 1856 – not to draft a platform of party principles. You read that right, 
there is no platform.

Instead, they resolved to “continue to enthusiastically support the President’s 
America-first agenda.”

In other words, “I’m with stupid.”

Even the conservative National Review was appalled, writing in an editorial 
that “the Republican Party should stand for something.”

Policywise, we did get a few Trumpist bullet points, but they read like they 
were scrawled on a napkin in a Vegas bar at three in the morning. “Protect 
our veterans,” “return to normal in 2021,” “provide school choice,” “teach 
American exceptionalism,” and my personal favorite, “cover all preexisting 
conditions.” That one is odd, given the fact that Trump is currently in 
the courts trying to kill off Obamacare, which protects people’s preexisting 
conditions. And remember, a month ago, when he promised to unveil 
a health reform bill within two weeks? There’s nothing about that on the 
Vegas bar napkin.

This is not a party anymore. It is a cult hooked on power, determined to 
scare the bejesus out of people for the sole purpose of sustaining power. As 
veteran congressional Republican aide Brendan Buck told Politico journalist 
Tim Alberta, the Trump party’s ethos can be summed up thusly: “Owning 
the libs and pissing off the media. There’s really not much more to it.”

The big question is whether the cult’s paranoid doomsday message, amplified 
hourly by right-wing “media,” will resonate with enough voters to 
renew the freak show for another interminable season.

As Trump is fond of saying, “We’ll see what happens.”

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in 
Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at Email him at dickpolman7@

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