This is an open letter to those who voted for Donald Trump:

President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. He seeded you with doubt and uncertainty. I know you don’t trust the New York Times, but they do their homework. They contacted election officials in every state representing both political parties. All said there was no evidence of fraud.

The reality star is having trouble accepting reality. As the fear-filled, whiny leader cries fraud, the coronavirus is spiking throughout the country because Trump denied medical and scientific reality. You and yours are tired of all this worry about protecting ourselves and others. You want to open the economy and get back to normal. Fuggedaboutit!

All this social distancing and mask wearing is making us more fearful as normal fades. You say we need to buckle up and accept that some of us will die. Herd immunity you chant. You say when your time is up, it’s up. But who are you to make the grim reaper’s announcement? Are you wise enough to make that call?

Trump has always wanted the spotlight since the days we grew up in NYC; me in Brooklyn and The Donald in Queens. He would be on the cover of the NY Daily News or The Post, or whenever the Times would give him some space on the paper of record. He wanted attention. Media attention but mostly the acceptance of the rich and powerful. By any means necessary. I drove a cab to pay for living and college expenses.

He has lied, exaggerated and conned his way to expanding his personal fortunes based upon his father’s real estate empire. But Donnie wasn’t his dad’s first choice. Ouch, that hurt. His elder brother didn’t want to run the empire. Donald was runner-up.

A sad part of your “trust” in Donald was based upon your sense that the U.S. government is corrupt. I agree. Trump took that kernel of distrust and convinced you into to thinking he was “THE” alternative. Here we disagree. He took the grain of truth of media biases, and you and he chanted “fake news.” You believed him when he said he would make you free. And now you’re surrounded by millions of people infected with a virus, and you dare reality without masks, gathering with others, while most of us are holed up in our homes. We live with masks and social distancing, waiting for the vaccine to be free and out and about again.

Maybe you didn’t think about or read below the headlines about how the wheels of government have been greased for decades by lobbyists with lots of money from their corporate clients. Elected officials at the federal level spend most of their time hustling for money for the next election. Their aides do the work sifting through legislative bills to assist our senators and representatives in deciding what to support, amend or discard. This is not democracy. It’s patronage. An oligarchy that uses its mercenaries to access elected officials. And SCOTUS decided that money is speech and the wealthy are free to speak and spend.

Citizens spoke out, organized and voted. And they won. There are those who unabashedly want to keep some of us from voting. An honest democracy creates congressional districts based upon population data not gerrymandering the numbers.

The pursuit of happiness in America is for those who can afford it. The rest of us work overtime to send our children to college and pay medical bills. The middle class treads water, many drowning. The poor suffer indignities and blame for their station in life.

And now, Donald Trump and his cohorts are trying to con us into a coup d’état. While the government has a corrupt history, the voting process has improved with modern technology backed by the paper ballot. Trump has the right to legally contest the results. “The ridiculousness” of Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo claiming a second term is pure bluster. They are committing treason.

Tony Del Plato is the Deputy Mayor of the Village of Interlaken in Seneca County and a frequent contributor to the Finger Lakes Times’ opinion pages.

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