Letter to the editor: Did we miss the anonymous op-ed author’s point?

A week has passed since the New York Times published, “I am Part of the Resistance.” I continue to marvel at both the nature and scale of fallout related to this anonymous editorial attributed to a senior official within President Trump’s administration. In many ways, the American public’s reaction to this piece epitomizes where we are as a nation. It seems all sides have found something inflammatory to note, a statement to pick apart, some sentence or paragraph within which to find blame.
This many days after its publication I cannot help but ask myself, “Did we miss the author’s point?” How many readers, I wonder, gave pause to the editorial’s closing paragraphs?
We all enter and exit a text with different understandings. What I heard in this editorial was an insightful articulation of what the author considers our country’s more serious dilemma, “The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility….”
At some level we are all culpable for our country’s current state. No matter, the sense of justification held for differing viewpoints, these often hostile reactions add to our division. They do nothing to help us move forward. As a nation, we have allowed our fears to overrule our better selves. In doing so, Americans have delivered to Trump exactly what he needs — a fractured, vulnerable populace. So long as we remain divided he and his presidency’s toxicity will prevail.
Seemingly, the one unifier for Americans these past many months has been the reverence we expressed for John McCain upon his death. We hold in esteem McCain’s visible love for this nation and its ideals, as well as his commitment to a civil politic.
This editorialist first noted and then called on us to both honor and act upon that respect. Reread those final sentences. “There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.”
America. One nation. Indivisible.
Deborah N. Levesque

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