The friendly atmosphere that I’ve always known here doesn’t feel the same. For a large group of Trump supporters, a herd mentality exists; where being a Trump supporter is patriotic, and being a Biden supporter must mean you are an enemy of the American people.

I am a Biden supporter. I am not a socialist/Marxist/communist. I am a retired public school teacher, with 37 years in the classroom. I am a patriotic citizen of this great country who appreciates our freedoms, understands that the free press is essential to our freedom, and knows that democracy can only exist if we are educated and involved.

My Democrat husband and I have respectful and honest conversations. I am a moderate Republican woman, from another generation, where politicians working across the aisle were appreciated instead of condemned.

Trump insists that mail-in ballots will be used to rig the election in November, when there is absolutely no research to support this claim. He understands that with in-person voting, voters can be intimidated. It is the antithesis of our right to vote. Arizona has been using the secure and reliable mail-in ballot system since 1991. Get the facts from the Arizona Secretary of State at azsos.gov.

In the middle of an economic crisis, health crisis, social crisis, Trump wants “tax cuts,” specifically payroll tax “deferments.” That means somewhere down the line we will still be paying those payroll taxes, in a big lump-sum payment, just not now. Those payroll taxes are used, among many other things, to fund Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which cannot remain solvent without them.

Trump is utterly unpredictable. Would you like the police officer who pulled you over; the judge in a court hearing; the surgeon who is operating on you to be utterly unpredictable? How about the president who is in charge of our nuclear capabilities?

How much is enough? These actions do not Make America Great Again. They make us fearful, bigoted children in adult bodies, playing “King of the Hill,” who stand on top of the hill and push anyone else seeking to get on top back down.

I will NOT vote for ANY politician who labels those that don’t agree with him/her as the enemy of the American people, who uses fear tactics rather than sound policies, who seeks to divide us instead of bring us together as a nation. That is the definition of fascism.

Lori Vanover, Payson

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