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Editorial: Of lies, truth and resistance

The lies and deliberate untruths told by Trump continue to pile up by the day. One count has listed 132 false statements and positions the president has made (and maintained) in his first 30 days; by Day 100, it will be almost 400. Something that, in America, had heretofore been inconceivable. In the past, our presidents did not so overtly lie to the people. Truth and honesty had always been fundamental to public support. Not with Trump.
And beyond his lies is his pure recklessness. With his deportation policy, he seems not to understand the difference between a rash campaign promise and creating a national policy that avoids wreaking havoc on regional economies. That is as true on the border of Texas and in the fields of California as it is in the meatpacking operations of Garden City, Kansas and the dairy farms of Addison County here in Vermont.
In Trump’s latest version of his deportation policies, he said he didn’t want to invoke panic, but that is exactly what the program will do. If Trump wants to phase in those policies to allow local economies to adjust to his new enforcement regime, then he should write them accordingly. But if he is going to order expanded deportations to that degree, then he will be causing mass dislocations; he will harm and disrupt local economies; he will put farms out of business; he will cause immigrants to hide from and flee enforcement efforts, and it could well produce panic in parts of the country.
Trump’s policy deserves resistance because it is anti-American in that we have always been a nation of immigrants and have a history of tolerance. It’s economically damaging in that we need the help on our farms, in engineering and high-tech and other skilled fields, and because we are a nation with an aging demographic that needs a younger workforce. It helps our enemies, by sending that talent elsewhere (thus weakening our economy) and by tarnishing our image as a nation of opportunity and freedom. China will benefit. Canada will benefit. Russia will benefit. Americans will lose.
How long will it take Trump supporters to recognize that basic economic reality? As importantly, will the reality of stories such as those told on today’s front page of the Addison Independent (Being Muslim in Middlebury) sink in and make a difference, or is the message of hate that Trump supporters get from conservative television so deafening they will choose not to hear?
Angelo Lynn

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