Saddened by division in U.S.


When I returned from Vietnam in 1969 (U.S. Marines Infantry), many in my generation opposed the war and protested sometimes peacefully and other times not.

Some were shot by National Guard; remember four dead In Ohio, (Neil Young Lyrics written in 1970, song titled, “Ohio”) Those in power at that time said, “Love it or Leave It.” We could say the same today to the domestic terrorists who attempted an overthrow of our democracy.

I am so grateful to America and the ideals that “We the People” hold dear to our hearts. My government has been true to its word in supporting those that fought for our country. I utilized the GI Bill and graduated without student debt. So thank you, America.

I came back with a disability, so again America stepped up and took care of my medical needs. The care I have received through the VA, and the Obama-era rule (Veterans Choice), which allowed veterans access to health care in their communities, has been so truly appreciated by me and my loved ones.

Trump said he was responsible for Veterans Choice, but just another lie. As Bob Marley reminded us all in his song, “Get Up Stand Up” (1974), “You can fool some of the people some time, but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.” Hence the 2020 election results.

Needless to say, the attempt to overthrow my government made me sick. The fascists that tried to steal my government (Stop The Steal ) will never be forgotten. They have changed the course of America, and for that I am deeply saddened.

In our town this past summer, we had peaceful protests that purported to be support for Trump and the police departments. I did not go, not because I do not support the police, but I am tired of fighting and I find Trump deplorable.

As it turned out, the message spread according to some accounts was more about hate. Some who supported Trump and the police were turned off by that. I am grateful for those that see hate for what it is.

So what is next? More lies about election fraud. Looks like it. More threats of violence from the fascist right. Looks like it. I am deeply saddened and at times as scared as I was in Vietnam – in my own country, no less. Washington D.C. currently resembles the green zone in Baghdad. Do we want Martial Law? Do we want armed guardsman on every street corner like in Turkey?

In the Jan. 13, 2021 edition of this paper, newly elected city councilwoman Ms. Sanchez, shared a video of the attempted coup with her fans saying, “Trump said he is down here with us.” I remember seeing video of Trump saying something like “we’re going to march to the Capitol.” I thought he meant he too would be marching with Ms. Sanchez. No, Trump instead got in that warm comfortable tax-payer limo and went back home to watch TV.

What happened? I do not know, perhaps those bone spurs flared up again. Ironic, same thing happened in Vietnam.

There are so many unanswered questions and as time passes, most will be answered, but likely never fully understood. Was it an inside job? Was too much bleach-infused Kool-Aid drunk?

In that crowd of domestic terrorists there were active-duty police officers, firefighters, retired military, active National Guard, the very people we rely on to uphold law and order. Reminded me of the Oregon State Troopers (although very different circumstances) who would not wear a mask in a business, even being asked to do so. Very disrespectful, especially since those officers, swearing to uphold the current laws, broke peoples trust in law enforcement. So much for the Law and Order President.

On the plus side, I was so grateful that many truly patriotic Americans called in tips to the FBI hot line hoping to get the monsters off the street before more are killed. It just shows how basic human nature wants good, and considered the coup so tragic.

Ms. Sanchez promises to show our community what, “it means to be a good American again.”

She said her constituents can call her; even offered her phone number. Very nice. My problem is I like my government to be accountable, to be on the record, to talk to a broad spectrum of voters, to answer tough questions, because that way, we get to know them in their best and not so best moments. Maybe a meet and greet would be better.

But I do have a question for Ms. Sanchez that I would like answered if she would be so kind: What does holding big government accountable have to do with keeping small communities safe?

Democracy is hard work. Ask Stacey Abrams in Georgia. If you want change, earn it by talking to all constituents, convincing them your way is better.

Are we better off than we were four years ago? It would be hard to see how anyone could say that, right? Did Trump make America great again? Or did he make America grieve again? The way I think, it was clearly the latter. Let us all respect one another.

Larry Willett

Sweet Home