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Even in today’s trying times, there’s plenty to be grateful for

By Peter Weinberger

I think most of us can agree we have a nation divided in many ways. But on the local level, Claremont continues to prosper, with engaged residents willing to get involved to strengthen our community. People actually care and want to help.

Of course that doesn’t mean Claremonters agree all the time. But this doesn’t stop us from working together on the next important cause or issue. In other words, our political beliefs don’t get in the way of the decision-making process.

One proud moment was the reception representatives of Metrolink and Gold Line received during a meeting discussing whether to keep our Metrolink station at the Depot. LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis—who in my opinion was clearly playing politics with Claremont—had to be surprised when more than 300 people attended. For Claremont residents, the only option was to keep the station here where it belongs. In addition to 15 written questions, 38 speakers addressed the panel—all in favor of keeping the station.

I hear of so many cities having financial issues, including poor and unethical management. Claremont is a bright example of how to run a city. Although not perfect, our council and city manager have directed us through a recession and the challenges of growth. They pride themselves on working well together. And if you want your opinion heard publicly, there are many options, from a city council meeting to a letter in the Claremont COURIER.

I remember the days not long ago when the Village would close down during the evening hours. One trip around town on a Saturday night—especially during Art Walk—proves Claremont can be a destination location for the entire family. There’s so much hustle and bustle, especially this time of year.

 

Back in Washington, DC

The success of Claremont certainly has taken the sting from a Trump administration so focused on dividing our nation. The new tax plan is the perfect example of rewarding GOP donors at the expense of everyone else. Economists both right and left have agreed there’s no economic justification for this plan, and that few will see any “trickle down” effect. Some senators have even admitted donations would dry up if a tax package were not passed. Only time will tell.

Back in January, I was truly hoping after a nasty election process, the office might influence our new president to be more of a man for all the people. Unfortunately, I was terribly wrong.

For me it started when President Trump said that his was the largest attended inauguration in US history. The problem was that comparison photographs from Obama’s 2009 inauguration showed the Trump crowd was significantly smaller. If Obama’s crowd was one million—many conservative estimates—Trump’s audience looked like 100,000 to 200,000 at best. When mainstream media reported these facts, Trump just called it fake news. Clearly this set the tone.

Now a year later, Trump is fighting for his political life because of indictments against Michael Flynn—who pleaded guilty and is ready to talk—along with three campaign aides, for collusion with Russians. So while Trump was campaigning to “lock Hillary up” over her use of a server, certain members of his election staff, including possibly Trump and some family members, were attempting to contact Russia to influence the 2016 election.

With no real ethics or morals, the president who has candidly admitted to fondling women, now has a dozen accusers on the record. If Trump were a movie executive or sports team owner he would have been fired long ago.

Most of us accept the fact Trump is openly racist, largely because of his tough language about Muslims, Mexicans, undocumented workers and black athletes. Yet that tough talk is muted when white nationalist activity causes riots around the country. This passive-aggressive style of governing only serves to motivate white nationalist movements and racism throughout the US.

Now his name is part of the actual hate talk, which I find absolutely stunning. Slurs like “Trump #1 white only USA” or “Trump will get rid of you all” are common in many parts of the nation. Minorities are even hearing the latest use of his name—(Trump, Trump, Trump)— during high school basketball games in suburban America. Saying his name three times is a racial jeer or slur, meant to taunt, meaning he’s our president and not yours.

But this talk of fake news from a man who makes an average of five statements a week that are factually untrue only to further his own cause, illustrates how low the presidency has sunk.

You may think I’ve  turned into the Grinch who tried to steal in Claremont. No worries, it’s going to be a wonderful Weinberger holiday. Given all these shenanigans around the country, I surely won’t forget that Claremont has a real independent streak, as the city continues to stand out as a great place to live.