Donald Trump gave a message on the Fourth of July which has been praised by many. Others, including myself, found his rhetoric divisive and off the mark. 

Trump has a history of dividing the nation into us versus them, whether it be against immigrants, liberals, Democrats or activists for racial equality. This incites unnecessary fear and distracts from the real enemies we face as a nation. 

Police officers and members of Black Lives Matter are not our enemies. Racism and police brutality are our enemies. After ravaging over 130,000 lives, the coronavirus is our global enemy. With unemployment rising, poverty, homelessness and lack of health care are our enemies. As temperatures rise and the frequency of natural disasters increase, climate change has become our shared enemy. Foreign interference in our elections and voter suppression are our enemies.

We need unity, collective action and focused leadership if we’re going to be able to tackle any of these problems. We need patience and compassion towards one another to fight for the common good and resist the enticement of polarization.

Veronika Tait

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Saratoga Springs

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