by Brian Wojtalewicz
Originally published in the West Central Tribune on July 12, 2016.
In a speech to one of his adoring crowds, this time in February in South Carolina, Trump repeated his claim that our USA should “go much further” than waterboarding suspected terrorists. Torturing suspects is not enough. Trump spoke glowingly of an American general having his soldiers dip bullets in pig blood and shooting dead 49 of 50 Filipino Muslim prisoners.
Like most of Trump’s claims, the story (alleging General Pershing) is not true, or at least there is no proof of it. But I am not writing to remind fellow Americans of Trump’s lying, as that is too common and well proven. No, I am writing because I am appalled that millions of Americans seem ready to vote for someone who openly advocates torture and murder.
So I will ask the conservatives in our small Appleton community, or any Trump supporter who happens to read this: do you really agree with our military torturing and shooting unarmed prisoners? Please tell us, how does this square with your values?
Franco, Mussolini and Hitler were strong men. They talked and acted like bullies, and promised to make their country great again. Millions of people supported them in their rise to power. Millions of others thought it could never happen, that their advanced, educated nation would let such a man gain its most powerful position, when he promised illegal violence toward whole classes of people.
Are you so used to and ready to fawn over a rich and powerful bully, that you are ready to make Trump the commander-in-chief of our military? A man who openly advocates torture and murder of unarmed prisoners?
Most of us have dealt with bullies. Even on the playgrounds of our youth, a bully was usually accompanied by lackeys—those who grinned and enjoyed being his acolytes. Which are you, fellow American?
Brian Wojtalewicz is a trial lawyer with over three decades of experience helping people who never expected to be living with the pain, or disability, or the loss of a loved one. He also has over a decade of experience in False Claims Act law, representing whistleblowers.
Brian lives outside the small town of Appleton, MN, and is an active member of the community as an environmental steward, DFL organizer, and writer.