The world is laughing, Rep. Cline

On Sept. 25, 2018, President Trump made his second speech to the United Nations General Assembly. When he proclaimed that his presidency was the most successful ever, a wave of spontaneous laughter swept through the room.

At first surprised, he laughed and then went on to brag about his accomplishments. Among other things, he said, “We have started the construction of a major border wall.” It was a lie. And still is today. Trump asked for $25 bilIion for “wall construction.” In the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, he was awarded $1.6 billion — with specific conditions attached.

On July 24 and July 25, there were two letters to the editor in The News & Advance from descendants of immigrants who called out Rep. Ben Cline, R-Sixth District, for not opposing Trump’s cruel immigration policy which is intertwined with his racist demand that four young women of color, U.S. citizens and duly elected members of the House of Representatives, should go back where they came from.

Rep. Cline continues his unflinching and uncritical support of Trump.

According to Nate Silver’s ThirtyFiveEight survey, Cline’s voting has been 95.2 percent in obedient line with Trump’s positions, whether on climate change, tax cuts for corporations repeal of Obama care — no matter what.

Particularly glaring is Trump’s unswerving support for Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war on the people of Yemen. In December 2018, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 13-9 to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the disastrous civilian deaths in Yemen and for the gruesome murder of U.S.-based Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggie. Later, the Senate voted 56-41 to end U.S. assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen. When Trump vetoed this legislation, the vote to override that veto failed. For this, Republicans, including Ben Cline, must take responsibility.

It is interesting that a number of long-time Republican representatives have decided not to run in the 2020 elections. (See Michelle Cottle’s piece, “The Republican Exodus from Congress,” in Aug. 1 issue of The New York Times.)

The world laughs derisively at Trump. But it’s not a joke. Does Ben Cline know this?

PETER KJESETH

Lynchburg

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