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All parties, all countrymen

The primaries are over. Democrats are hopeful for a “blue wave,” to gain control of the House and Senate in the upcoming November midterm elections.

Just recently, some Republican commentators and leaders have publicly called for fellow Republicans to vote Democratic in the upcoming election, because they recognize that Trump represents a dire threat to our democracy, with his would-be transformation of this country into an autocracy. If Democrats are successful in taking control of both houses of Congress, they should not assume they have a so-called mandate for pressing their ideas. Also, Republican voters who crossover and vote Democratic will likely experience the destruction of their party, the GOP, in order to eliminate Trumpism.

Democrats - all of us - would do well to remember that Ulysses S. Grant, at Appomattox and at the end of the Civil War, forbade Union troops to cheer as beaten Confederate soldiers surrendered their rifles. Grant said: “They are our countrymen again.” There are other historic examples of such magnanimity.

If Trumpism is overcome in the next election, we need to recognize that this country will have avoided a terrible threat to its institutions, and bipartisan, centrist political statements and actions will be needed as we rebuild.

John B. Severinghaus

Spokane


 

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