Among the images seared in my memory is that of standing alone at the railing of a ship on a cold and foggy winter morning sixty-five years ago when, as the sun began to break through mist, I first saw, bathed in an iridescent glow, the Statue of Liberty. I had traveled from a continent that had nearly destroyed itself and left in its wake nearly 40 million dead and millions more wounded or displaced. I came to a nation that had opened its arms to me, a nameless and displaced war orphan.
Since that day I have had a love affair with the United States and its people. Whether it was participating in the March on Washington in August of 1963 and listening to the stirring words of Martin Luther King and my subsequent involvement in the civil rights movement, or being a volunteer in the Ronald Reagan campaign of 1980, or in 2008 on these pages and others to take up the pen and warn the people of the dangers of Barack Obama in combination with an obsequious Republican Party, I have done what I could to preserve and protect the future of my adopted country.
I can also appreciate the anger and pent up frustration so many people now feel after eight years of Barack Obama, the Democrats and a feckless Republican Party. I, as an immigrant and refugee, am also livid that the nation's borders are deliberately unprotected in an age of global terrorism. That this is being done for political and economic reasons, thus allowing millions of uneducated and unskilled illegal immigrants to undermine wages and be granted unfettered access to many social programs, is criminal. I have watched over the years as an avalanche of laws, taxes and regulations have torpedoed job creation eventuating in a declining standard of living for the vast majority of Americans. I am angry that the middle class, the backbone of the nation, is rapidly disappearing as the wealth of the elites continues to skyrocket. I am furious that despite two overwhelming victories in the mid-term elections, the Republicans in Congress have done nothing to stop the Obama agenda despite their assurances to the contrary.
However, I am also acutely aware of the pitfalls of anger and frustration evolving into deep seated passion where reason is too often a casualty. These are emotions that can be easily manipulated and taken advantage of by the unscrupulous and charismatic.
In 2008 the people of the United States elected Barack Obama as President. Once in office he immediately unleashed his radical left wing agenda to transform the nation by relegating its founding documents to the ash heap and, with the acquiescence of Congress, ignoring the will of the people. By so doing Barack Obama and the Congress have discredited themselves and forfeited the trust of the people.
This has led to Donald Trump, a celebrity and charismatic leader, to burst upon the scene and skillfully exploit the angst of so many who, overcome with anger and emotion, want to vent and tear down regardless of not only their future but millions yet unborn whose fate they hold in their hands.
We all view others through the lens of our past experiences; thus when I look at Donald Trump I see a man of 70 with a near clinical case of narcissism whose entire life has been totally centered upon promoting himself, who now believes he is preordained to be elected president. He cannot accept any criticism with grace and dignity; rather he invariably lashes out with either crude schoolyard epithets or threatens financial intimidation through the legal system or the government. He revels in and expects adulation befitting a cult leader. He will do or say anything to not only foster this status but to win at all costs. He has no core set of beliefs as he willfully changes positions on major political, economic and social issues on a whim if it benefits him to do so.
These are the same underlying traits manifested by the notable megalomaniacs of the twentieth century. As I have firsthand experience of the devastating and violent end-product fomented by some of these tyrants, I am extraordinarily sensitive to others with these same traits. While not directly comparing Donald Trump to the despots of the past century, I do know that I cannot trust him with the fate of this nation in his hands.
As I have but one vote, the decision rests with the Republican primary voters as they begin to go to the polls. These are desperate times for this nation as it rapidly approaches the point of no return.
For the first time in this nation's history, is an election being held solely to vent anger and seek revenge? If so then Donald Trump is your candidate -- the potential consequences be damned. But that is not the purpose of an election in a representative republic; rather it is to choose those best suited by experience, temperament and integrity to adhere to the Constitution and have the best interests of the people first and foremost in their heart.
Over the past sixty-five years I have witnessed many monumental events in the nation's history and participated in some; yet I can say without reservation that the 2016 presidential election is perhaps the most consequential in 150 years. It will determine whether the United States returns to the tenets of its founding or continues down the road of evolving into a quasi-socialist oligarchy dominated by those with autocratic mindsets such as Barack Obama, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.