Writer is calling vast majority of Americans ‘un-American’

Many people in Fulton County recognize the name of Bruce Van Genderen as someone who knows quite a bit about budgeting and finance. Mr. Van Genderen’s Jan. 6, letter to The Leader Herald suggests he also knows how to distinguish a patriot from someone who is un-American and those who “hate our country and our Constitution.”

In Mr. Van Genderen’s eyes, anyone who opposes Trump’s border wall and virtually any prominent Democrat is un-American and unpatriotic. Well if that’s your logic then add in 59 million Americans who voted for Democratic candidiates in the 2018 House elections as unpatriotic. (By the way, that’s about 9 million more votes than Republicans received.) I’m sure every one of those 59 million Americans understood which side wanted the wall and which side didn’t. And I’m sure everyone remembers who was supposed to be paying for the wall.

Let’s keep adding to the list of America haters. It should include Mitch McConnell and the entire U.S. Senate which passed a budget bill without border wall funding in December. That was before true patriots like Rush Limbaugh got upset and Ann Coulter called the President “gutless.” And we need to call out our House Representative Elise Stefanik as unpatriotic. On Jan. 3, Stefanik broke ranks with her fellow Republicans and voted, along with House Democrats, to fund the government without funding the wall.

Do we really have a growing border crisis that has reached the level of a national emergency? The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency reports that border apprehensions peaked in 2000 and have dropped by over 80 percent since then. The Trump administration has a loose relationship with facts since day one. A recent claim was that nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists were apprehended at the southern border. The actual number of non-U.S. residents taken into custody: six. The number who attempted to come across from Canada: 41. Perhaps we are worrying about the wrong border.

Mr. Rush Limbaugh himself said “I maintain that a wall is symbolic.” For once, I agree. The obvious question then is: symbolic of what? What are American ideals and what does it mean to be truly patriotic? I think of another symbol: the Statue of Liberty. It has remained open to the public, despite the federal shutdown. Mr. Van Genderen, I suggest you pay a visit.

BILL DORAN

Broadalbin