Boyd Matheson’s opinion column titled “No, this election is not a ‘battle for the heart and soul of America’” is partly right, but mostly incorrect (August 20). This election is a battle for the heart and soul of America.
America is an idea, and a complicated one, but the good parts of that idea are in peril. Trump’s election was merely a symptom of the disease, but once elected he acted as a poison that, left unchecked, could greatly accelerate the demise of all the positive ideas associated with America.
With this election we make a choice: Accelerate and compound the poison and hasten the end of the worthwhile parts of the American idea, or attempt triage.
The part of the American idea most at stake is this: Will we continue as a republic, or will we continue to descend into autocracy? Trump, although incompetent, greatly longs to be an autocrat. Reelecting him will further erode the forces that have mitigated (but not left unchecked) those impulses.
Electing Biden will at least slow the decay. Perhaps it will allow the Republican Party to reinvent itself as something other than Trump’s plaything. Perhaps it will allow both Republicans and Democrats to reform their primary processes to prevent a fragmented race from coalescing around someone like Trump.
However, the fact that someone like Trump was elected in the first place is still a symptom of a grave illness that Biden certainly cannot cure on his own.