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Hosting a Demagogue

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 12:37

It seems somehow crazy that Donald Trump is to arrive on the East End tomorrow for a fund-raiser, after two mass shootings within hours of each other, as if nothing were wrong. From what is known about the event, it will shut down a portion of Sagaponack for the afternoon as the president and guests gather at Joe Farrell’s over-the-top Halsey Lane mansion, which, just coincidentally, is on the market for $40 million, give or take. Talk about a coup.

It is regrettable that any South Fork resident, even one eager to move a piece of high-priced real estate, would host a reprehensible demagogue like Mr. Trump. His incendiary statements have amplified a climate of fear in the United States, emboldened dictators around the world, and fueled rageful far-right extremists, some of whom are taking up arms against their fellow citizens.

Presidents wield tremendous power over the country’s mood. When Mr. Trump broadcasts about made-up conspiracies and race-baits perceived opponents without the slightest show of shame, consequences follow.

When individuals have almost unfettered access to rapid-fire arms, any sane leader would seek to remain exclusively on the side of caution. This president seems to accept violence, even killings, as the collateral effect of his strategy to ensure a second term in the White House. No one of good conscience, whether Democrat, Republican, or something else, should stand by silently. And communities open to all, like ours, should in the most vocal terms reject his presence here, nor should they embrace the G.O.P. brand until he is out of office.

Everyone is entitled to their political views, as long as they do not harm others. But we are saddened that a neighbor and business associate of so many here would clink glasses with a man tearing this country apart.

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