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Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

Most effective leaders are consensus builders. They’re adept at getting people together to solve mutual problems. Those leaders tend to bring out the very best in others, as they encourage cooperation and trust. They usually find the best solutions because they invite ideas from across a wide spectrum of experiences and backgrounds. Unfortunately, this does not describe the current president of the United States.

Nearly everything Donald Trump does and says alienates more than half of the American public. He has a knack for making every policy decision or public statement about loyalty to him personally or becoming his enemy. As a result, we find an America so starkly divided that solutions built with consensus are now impossible. He’s made everything contingent on his sole authority.

The latest in an infinitely long list of issues revolves around face masks. While virtually every medical/scientific expert tells us face masks save lives, Trump has turned this into a political beachhead. The CDC says some 30,000 fewer Americans will die if we wear them — Trump uses ridicule and intimidation, forcing his loyalists to shun them. Trump has equated face masks to weakness and a statement that his administration is a failure. Trump’s COVID mantra has become: Die for the Dow — it’s all about his reelection.

Imagine highways without mandatory enforcement of seat belts or children’s car seats, homes with paint containing lead and asbestos or food processing and packaging with no FDA. Society has to place lifesaving restrictions on itself or we all suffer. It’s not what Congressman Andy Biggs calls “tyrannical," but merely good governance.

We’re facing some big problems: immigration, racial injustice, overdue policing reforms and a surging pandemic. America desperately needs a consensus builder. America needs leadership based on our common good, not narcissistic whims.

Carole Clark, Chair Emeritus

Democrats of Casa Grande

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