To the editor:

I am heartsick for our nation. When a vacuum of leadership brings out the worst in all of us, this is not America. When the bastardization of our flag for every organization with a gripe or a cause occurs, this is not America. Our flag has 50 stars floating in a sea of blue and 13 alternating red and white stripes. Let’s keep it that way.

I am deeply proud of citizens raising their voices. As a former law enforcement officer, I understand the deep angst in the Black community and understand the disregard within police departments in dealing with a population plagued by years of life built on drugs, as the only opportunity. Imagine growing up knowing you were going literally nowhere and every force around you is in place to keep you there. Privilege check. I am guilty. I was the queen of revocation and wouldn’t think twice about yanking someone’s freedom, when justified. However, if we were true Christians, we would walk a mile in their shoes and not arrest them for jaywalking. If we were true patriots, we would believe in community policing. If we were true Americans, we would lift up and not beat down. The learning curve is apparently long and wide. I am still coasting it. You should think about hopping on for a ride.

When the bastardization of the tenets of Christianity lead the Republican Party to denigrate itself into a religious cult, this is not America. It’s time to peel the layers of the onion to the fragrant core. When the bastardization of patriotism only serves to strip others of their love for their country, this is not America. No one, I repeat, no one can take away my family’s legacy of serving this country for the last two centuries.

We owe each other an apology. This president has brought out the flaws in us all. I am as susceptible as you are. I have found myself angry, sad, disgusted and shaking my head at the lack of integrity and dignity that has spread like wildfire across this nation. The fuel is the White House and it has pitted us against one another. I apologize for my role in this. You should, too.

This shame has a name. It is Donald J. Trump. I don’t need to list the instances of divide purported by this president. There are far too many and we have grown bored with his childish antics. You cannot deny behavior has a ripple effect on us all. We see each other differently. What we fail to realize is that we are all essential. The computer programmer and the plumber. The HR director and the truck driver. We are all required for a fully, highly functioning society. However, we are being disillusioned into thinking one group is more valuable than the other. This is not the America that lifted me out of poverty with the promise of an education and a career. This is an America that now divides through hateful rhetoric and misinformation. The gullible eat it up and the enlightened are appalled. This is not an America that embraces the weak. This is an America that wants to play survival of the fittest. However, we, as Americans are depleted both mentally and physically. Help is unaffordable and unattainable in the America crafted by our current leaders. This must change. We must vote.

It is up to us to lift the dark cloud that has settled upon the land, join forces and remember what it is like to be a true American by electing a leader with compassion and empathy for his fellow man and woman. This is America and we are better than this. The answer to our current problem? The ointment for the ailment?

It is simple. Joe Biden. He may not be the perfect fit for everyone, but he is a sea of calm in a tsunami of chaos. Let’s take chaos off the menu and put a future we can be proud of back on. For me, for you, for us. We must vote.

Elizabeth Ruediger


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(4) comments


Well said! I wish you continued enlightenment and joy on your journey on that learning curve.


Thank you.

Love, truth and beauty shall prevail. We are all of these things. Trump is the antithesis to these tenets of decency and democracy.


Coming from someone who has absolutely zero self-respect ... seriously! Your letter I hope sways the voters to vote Republican. People have personal responsibility for their own behavior and now you are blaming our President please stop!


Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, Oregon?

Is that you? Awesome! 👏🏻. Keep up the good work! Thanks for telling Trump to shut it! You are a true patriot!

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