To: Interested Parties
From: Marcel L. Groen, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party
Subject: Charlottesville and the president’s response
Date: August 17, 2017
I often wondered why was it so important for me to see the Statue of Liberty when, as a young boy, my family arrived in New York Harbor. I was born in the Netherlands to a mother who hid from the Nazis in a cellar from for eighteen months and a father who fought in the Dutch Underground and joined the Allied Marines at Camp Lejeune. But because of that statue, I grew up knowing that I too could be part of the American Dream.
I realized that the statue represented the hope that immigrants have felt from the earliest of times. I realized that this was a place that made all of us feel safe; that my children, my grandchildren, and I would never have to worry or fear what my parents and grandparents had gone through during the Holocaust.
I have been active in politics for the past 40 years largely because it was my way of giving back to our society. I have lived through 12 presidents since I came here. Some I liked, some I didn’t; some I worked for to help get elected, some I worked against. But each one was my president. I respected each one and above all I respected the office. We may have had different philosophies or views on issues, but they were still my president. They were the ultimate moral authority not only for us, but frankly, for the entire world.
Until now. Our 45th president has no moral authority; he seems to lack a moral compass. He has demeaned people – first in the campaign and now as a president. He has empowered hate and hate groups. He has shamed us and our nation.
We need to get our country’s moral authority back.
We are Americans first, not Democrats or Republicans. Our children should not be taught to hate or live in fear from others. We can debate issues as conservatives and progressives, but we cannot be hatemongers. We must fight against white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hateful groups in order to protect the beautiful experiment that is America. I fight for America every day because I love this country so dearly.
Our children should have the right to feel as safe in this country as I did as an immigrant after the Holocaust. Let us unite together. Let us move forward together. Let us continue in this beautiful march of history that we have been able to be a part of and continue to improve upon the progress that has made America the greatest country in the world.
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