Pennsylvanians Rejecting Trump’s Dangerous and Divisive Rhetoric

This week, in papers across Pennsylvania, letters to the editor are providing a growing indication that Republicans, Independents and Democrats are flat-out rejecting Donald Trump’s divisive and hateful rhetoric.

Here’s a quick sampling of some of the choice language used by Pennsylvanians to describe the GOP’s presidential nominee and standard-bearer…

Philadelphia Inquirer: Ronald D. Castille, former chief justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, veteran and Rhawnhurst resident.“When you are successful in declaring multiple million-dollar bankruptcies, as Trump has, the only sacrifice is by those debtors who were paid pennies on the dollar. I am a Republican, and I have been a Republican candidate in five city elections and five statewide elections, but I’m not voting for Donald Trump for president.”


York Daily Record: Phil Avillo, veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and Spring Garden Township resident. “Really, Donald Trump, you always wanted to get a Purple Heart? How sad. You had your chance in Vietnam when several hundred thousand American warriors your age received one, including 58,000 Americans killed on the battlefield. Not surprisingly, given who you are, Donald, you squandered that opportunity. Once a phony warrior, always a phony warrior.”


Philadelphia Inquirer: Ken Bennington, veteran and Perkasie resident. “As a Republican and an Army veteran, I am voting for Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump is a xenophobic, narcissistic, made-for-TV charlatan […] Trump publicly demeaned the parents of a Muslim American soldier-hero who died on the battlefield. He thus demeaned the more than 6,000 sons and daughters killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and their Gold Star families…Fellow veterans, do you really want this fraud as your commander in chief, with his finger on the nuclear button? I don’t.”


Philadelphia Inquirer: Rocco J. Polidoro, veteran and Springfield resident. “Donald Trump has crossed the line of decency […] As an Army veteran and commander of American Legion Post 227, I call on all of our country’s veterans’ organizations to denounce Trump’s candidacy.”


Bucks County Times: Joe Santoro, Doylestown Township resident. “I was a supporter of Mr. Trump, but now I can no longer vote for someone who is so callous, self-centered, so ill-informed and so disrespectful to a grieving family and their fallen hero son. I am the son of a decorated Purple Heart Marine and also the proud father of a combat-decorated Purple Heart Marine. I have seen firsthand the struggles of our wounded heroes and the crushing loss of grieving Gold Star parents, having personally attended the funerals of seven of my son’s Marine brothers. For someone like Mr. Trump, who did everything humanly possible to get out of serving our country, to be so heartless and disrespectful to an American patriot’s family is unforgivable.”


Philadelphia Inquirer: Therese Garbett, Cinnaminson resident. “I have been a Republican for more than 40 years, but I have just printed the form to change parties. I don’t want to be even remotely connected with this Republican candidate. The party has let us down by nominating such a brash, inexperienced, self-serving candidate.”


Philadelphia Inquirer: Gilda Edelstein, Paoli resident. “If Donald Trump had any decency and empathy for veterans, he would have thanked Louis Dorfman for offering his Purple Heart but made sure the retired Army lieutenant colonel kept it. The Purple Heart does not belong in Trump’s hands.”


Bucks County Courier Times: Patrick Houston, Buckingham resident. “Perhaps if either he or one of his children had served in the military, he would better understand the sacrifices involved. By demonstrating a total lack of understanding or empathy, Trump showed that he is not qualified for or capable of being our commander in chief.”


Philadelphia Inquirer: Bernard A. Mason, Philadelphia resident. “Trump worked hard to make lots of money, but he did not lose or surrender anything. Becoming rich is not a sacrifice. Trump is compelled to respond immediately to anyone criticizing him. Once again, he has made a fool of himself.”


Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader: Alec Frank, a Wilkes-Barre resident. “What could possibly go wrong with a Trump presidency? By his own admission, he admires the leadership style of despots (Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-un). He will weigh the individual merits of our NATO allies and review their accounts receivable, prior to honoring our NATO commitments. He will advocate for torture of others in order to keep us safe. He is deeply concerned for the physical appearance of women; and those who do not measure up (Carly Fiorina) should not hold public office.”


Allentown Morning Call: Paul Smith, a Lower Saucon Township resident. “How any rational citizen can continue to support Donald Trump after learning he has encouraged Russia and other foreign countries to commit cyber espionage is beyond me. There is no justification for anyone to solicit cyber crimes, much less a candidate for the most powerful public office in the world. Trump is unfit and has proved it over and over. His statements are inflammatory, ill-advised and dangerous. For the sake of our already great country, Trump must not become president.”


Philadelphia Inquirer: Ken Davis, Elkins Park resident. “I am amazed at Donald Trump’s continual success in exposing himself as the loudmouthed bully that he is […] I find it hard to believe that Trump is the Republican candidate for president — shame on him.”


LNP: Susan Trofatter, Lancaster Township resident. “He belittled and insulted every one of his fellow Republican candidates, Republican Congressmen who did not fawn all over him, the Democrats and their candidates, Hispanics, Muslims, women, Pope Francis and even his own followers. (He called them “poorly educated.”) […] Trump is nationally known, which is true, but his career has been about becoming famous, not achieving honorable success in real estate. He is a celebrity, nothing more.”


Scranton Times Tribune: Amy Ferguson, Dunmore resident. “Through his words, actions and deeds, Trump sows hatred and fear and he bullied and intimidated people in order to get his way. Is this the kind of message and world we want for our children, one based on degradation and demoralization? […] Let us not fall prey to the tyranny of Trump, who speaks to the weaknesses in our characters and natures.”


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: William Brown, Squirrel Hill resident. “Desperate to cover up his friend’s gaffe, Newt Gingrich says Mr. Trump was just kidding when he asked Russia to release our secretary of state’s emails. The only joke is Mr. Trump’s candidacy for president.”


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Mark Byrne, Castle Shannon resident. “Donald Trump is treating us all like toddlers in a tantrum, deflecting our attention from one thing to the next until we forget about the issue at hand. I hope the country can be better composed in the months ahead and refuse to wade in the muddy waters Mr. Trump continues to pollute with his filthy politics.”


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Richard Krepski, Highland Park resident.”I find Donald Trump’s cozying up to Vladimir Putin extremely disturbing. Trump has long expressed admiration for Putin’s authoritative style and he certainly matches his hostility to a free press. Recently, Trump indicated a hesitancy to support East European NATO members against Russian aggression and forced the toning down of language in the Republican platform favoring the pro-Western government in Ukraine.”