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Point of View: On Tenterhooks on Election Eve

Wed, 11/16/2022 - 17:01

It’s Election Eve and we’re on tenterhooks here. Wait, let me look up what tenterhooks means . . . hooks that hold fabric taut upon a frame, a tenter, in a factory. By analogy then we’re stretched and tight. Yes, that’s about right.

People, it seems, have been voting against their best interests for years, since Reagan proselytized on behalf of trickle-down economics, which turned out not to raise all boats, just yachts, and this time, should there be a red tide tonight, middle class dinghies may again find themselves awash.

There shouldn’t be food insecurity in this country, Peter Ciaccia, a Montauk Food Pantry volunteer (and the former New York Marathon’s race director), said earlier this month. Indeed, and yet there is, even in The Hamptons — inhabited, we’re told, glibly, by the haves and have-lots. There shouldn’t be poverty in this country, Martin Luther King Jr. said more than a half-century ago, and yet there is, quite a bit of it.

It’s disconcerting that the fair treatment avowed in this country’s founding documents tends to be forgotten when we prate about the freedom to think only about ourselves. America can be made great by assuring that people have enough to eat, by working to eliminate poverty, by working to lessen income inequality.

To become a more perfect union requires from the body politic a more brotherly mood, not the one of distrust, contention, and hatred that has been prevailing.

To think on Election Eve that this ugly mood might continue to cast a pall over what was envisioned as the world’s best hope, an egalitarian society in which one could develop and refine one’s talents, ideally to the benefit of oneself and society, is depressing.

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