To the Editor,

Have you ever heard a word that caused you to cringe?  A word so shocking, you might think you would never forget it?  But, because of its inherent intent and emotional punch, you can’t remember the word, only your response to it. So, you need to  return to the source, where it was used, to recall the actual word.

It was a word that former President Trump used in his inauguration address on January 20, 2017. It was a word chosen to describe what he felt to be true of America at the time. A word chosen to demoralize rather than inspire.  A word chosen to arouse fear rather than calm. A word chosen to divide citizens rather than unite them. A word, that by definition, means the killing of a large number of people.  Have you guessed it yet?

The word is carnage as in “American carnage.” While Trump vowed to end his grotesquely distorted picture of our country, he made it worse.  Racial strife, the pandemic response, an economy even more unequal, escalating violence and domestic terrorism all percolated during Trump’s dysfunctional administration. 

Trump’s criminality, “alternative truths,” outright lies, conspiracy theories, manipulations through fear, and hunger for power leading to the Big Lie that a free and fair election was stolen from him are all examples which more accurately describe the killing of a large number of people.  A killing of morality, decency, honesty, care, and respect for differences.

Just as Trump had won the choicest gift of our democracy with the Presidency, a woman in Greek mythology was also given a special gift. Pandora received a box containing all manner of misery and evil but was warned not to open it. Her curiosity  was too great.  She opened the box and the evils flew out over the earth.  Hope remained inside because she shut the lid before it could escape.

Trump’s carnage, like the misery and evil, of Pandora’s box, was released into America bringing more distrust, divisiveness, inequality, racial injustice, crime, violence, sadness and pain. All culminating in an insurrection intent on shredding the Constitution, overthrowing democracy and denying the will of the people.

Hope can remain.  Hope that people who care more about others, the country, and the planet will have the opportunity to make changes that preserve America’s strength, unity, and leadership in the world.

An alternative to Pandora’s story is that the box contained not evils but blessings which could have benefited the human race. They escaped and were lost because of her curiosity.  Much as the promise of America was lost because of Trump’s narcissism. 

Truth, neither an evil or blessing, remains, if we choose to hear and believe it!  Listen to the January 6 hearings.  Vote Blue!

Dorothy Eskeli

New York Mills