Letter to the editor: Votes in November will speak to next generation

Americans have a crucial choice in just a few weeks. We usually think of it in terms of policies and personalities. As an educator of 48 years, and knowing that our children are watching every move we make, I think of it as a choice between teachers. I think of the grade school classroom I grew up in with portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln below the alphabet on the front of the classroom wall. To our young minds, they represented integrity and equality. Simplistically, we learned that Washington could not tell a lie and that Lincoln freed the slaves. These represented values that America held dear. Which contender for the Presidential race is worthy of that most respected position at the front of the American classroom?

We have a choice between a mean-spirited and self-centered man and a gentleman. The kids are watching.

We have a choice between someone who lies compulsively, and someone who tells the truth as best he knows it.

We have a choice between a braggart and a humble man. We have a choice between someone who inherited great wealth and has spent his life making money for himself at the cost of others; and someone who came from a humble, working class background.

We have a choice between someone who finds his supporters disgusting, who degrades women, people with handicaps, minorities, and even those who died for our country; and a man who wants to include us all in the American Dream. We have a choice between someone who gives tax breaks to the super wealthy and someone who would require them to pay their fair share so that others can live.

We have a choice between someone who ignores that our earth is in peril and someone who listens to scientists and adjusts his views accordingly. We have a choice between someone so cynical and self-involved that he lied to us about the devastating nature of the global pandemic; and someone who will level with us, even if the news is bad.

We have a choice between someone who supports enemy dictators versus someone who is a true patriot and will defend us against those who seek to damage our country.

We voters are the adults and the kids are indeed watching. Will we fall prey to the president’s fearmongering and name calling? Will we vote for his hateful, divisive, and self-serving agenda? Will we vote for the hot mess that he made of the first debate? Will we vote for his unpatriotic and un-American support of foreign powers over our own? With our votes we tell our children what we value and who we are. We define tomorrow’s America. They will learn from us from our actions. What will we teach them?

Harry Chaucer

New Haven

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