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I enjoy a good political discussion as much as anyone – more than most. I am fine when someone disagrees with me. But I must admit that I am still struggling to get the hang of the back and forth that comes with social media.
Recently, I wrote a column and said that President Trump had lost the moral authority to lead our country. I said that it was time for him to go. As you might imagine, the column generated considerable discussion.
I always have to fight the urge to respond when someone makes a comment that is clearly wrong or when someone just makes something up. My wife is constantly urging me to put my iPad down and not read the comments posted regarding my columns.
More Mariano: With Trump, we have no choice
But, like I said, I enjoy a good political discussion. Since I did not respond to all of the comments that I would have liked to, here are some of the things I would have said had I responded.
NOTE: For many of the posts, I was not able to repeat their entire comment here. One responder posted a comment that was somewhere between 700 and 800 words. I tried as hard as I could not to take anything out of context.
COLLEEN W: “… please give me proof that Trump is a racist …”
MARIANO: Really? You can honestly say that you do not have clear evidence that Trump is a racist? I almost don’t know where to start. Here are a few of his earlier greatest hits – golden oldies. (1) When five black and Latino men were accused of murder, Trump took out a full page ad calling for the death penalty. Later when DNA evidence cleared the men, Trump called the wrongful conviction settlement a disgrace.
(2) Trump led the “birther” movement against our first African-American president, accusing him of having been born in Africa. Trump knew it was a lie but it made for great politics.
(3) Trump and his father were sued by HUD for racial discrimination.
(5) He falsely tweeted that most killings of whites are done by blacks.
And that was just before he got elected.
As Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote in 2015, “Let’s not mince words: Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist.”
DICK M: “… They (Trump supporters) disagree with me (Ray) so they are all bigots and racists.”
MARIANO: Actually, I do not feel that way. I know Trump supporters that I have a high regard for. I understand the frustration they feel toward our federal government and their desire to see real, meaningful change. I just think that Trump sold them a bill of goods. Never trust a conman.
ROLLY G: “STFU Ray.”
JIM R: “No, Ray was blind to people asking him why there were new cars, boats, jet skis, parked in Great Brook Valley …”
MARIANO: Wrong. When I became executive director of the Worcester Housing Authority I instituted an aggressive program where staff patrolled the parking lots looking for vehicles that might indicate fraud. Overall, our fraud identification and recovery program identified and recovered more than $1.5 million. In fact, the HUD inspector general came to Worcester to compliment our program.
HEATHER S: “It’s hard to believe, a supposedly informed man, like yourself, would author such a farce. You really believe Russia hacked those emails/server!? There has been ZERO evidence presented/found …”
MARIANO: Don’t take my word for it. Trust the FBI, CIA and the Department of Homeland Security, which all said the Russians not only hacked servers at the Democratic National Committee headquarters but did so to help Trump. Leaders of those agencies, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have testified before Congress, under oath, and said that there was no doubt in their conclusion.
Keep in mind that Clapper, who has worked for every president from Kennedy to Obama in some capacity, has questioned Trump’s fitness to be president. He asked, as I did at the end of my recent column, “How much longer does the country have to, to borrow a phrase, endure this nightmare?”
Further, no one has offered any evidence to refute the claims of the U.S. government intelligence agencies. In fact, many Republican senators have said that there is no doubt that the Russians hacked into the servers and tried to influence the election.
KAREN LM: “Donald Trump is our President. The President of the United States of America. Either you get on board or get the hell out. …”
MARIANO: No thank you. I choose to stay and fight for the kind of government that will treat all of our citizens equally and respectfully. But you can feel free to leave if my opinions offend you.
DAVE W: “I wouldn’t wrap a fish in your ‘paper’. gfy.”
MARIANO: First, my initials are rvm not gfy. Second, you realize that the Worcester Sun is an online publication, don’t you? I don’t see how I can wrap a fish with my computer screen.
M&P CONSERVATIVE: “… Pence does not ‘want’ to remove LGBT rights, abortion, women’s rights, blah, blah …”
MARIANO: I was not offering my opinion, I was stating facts. Pence has opposed marriage equality and equal rights. In 2006, he called being gay “a choice” and said gay couples signaled “societal collapse.” In 2007, he opposed a law prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people.
Pence has also supported legislation to limit a woman’s right to choose, and tried to defund Planned Parenthood. So you can say it is not so, but the facts say otherwise.
EARL P: “Ray Mariano is an idiot.”
MARIANO: You may have a point.
GUERTIN N: “mariano is brainless.moron”
MARIANO: Okay, I think that’s a bit over the top.
JK: “ ‘Trump must go!’ I do not recall similar scrutinizing of past politicians … seems at times a double standard …”
MARIANO: Perhaps you missed it. I remember Donald Trump and conservative media pounding President Obama for years claiming that he was not an American-born citizen. I recall countless investigations, led by Republicans, against Hillary Clinton – which by the way never produced a single charge. And Republican leaders said publicly on television that the purpose of the investigations was to stop Hillary Clinton from getting elected. They were never interested in the truth. It was all just a political game.
Then there was Bill Clinton and the investigation into a real estate deal that ended up focusing on his sex life. Intense scrutiny comes with the territory.
MELINDA B: “… Try some respect for the OFFICE of POTUS – you will be happier and see more beneficial actions bc your eyes won’t be SO blinded.”
MARIANO: Actually, I can see just fine, thank you. The things that President Trump has done are out in the open for everyone to see – and many of those things are disgraceful. One of our country’s most conservative columnists, Charles Krauthammer, speaking on Fox News called Trump’s response to the events in Charlottesville “a moral disgrace.”
THOMAS S: “Ray shut your mouth you pathetic liberal f*#&ing puke!!!! … Because you pathetic liberal human beings want more government more people depending upon the government!!!!! …”
MARIANO: That’s a lot of exclamation marks to go along with such dirty language. As for wanting more people depending upon the government, you could not be more wrong. I designed the only program in the nation that requires able-bodied residents of public housing to go to work or attend school so that they could raise themselves up and off of government assistance – and I received considerable criticism from some Democrats for doing so.
ROBERT R: “Get rid of this idiot.”
MARIANO: I agree. Oh, wait, you meant me. Never mind.
BOB G: “Ray, don’t you have some apartments to look after.”
MARIANO: You’ve got to keep up man! I retired from the WHA. Now, I’m just living the life. #Peace.
Raymond V. Mariano is a Worcester Sun columnist. He comments on his hometown and global issues that impact it every Sunday in Worcester Sun.