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Dear Editor:

I proceeded at my own risk and read Peter Mahon’s column regarding Trump’s election victory. While both the Times and the Wave give free reign to local columnists, I found the publication of this column in poor taste. Rather than opening up a productive political dialogue, Mahon resorts to taunts, jeers, and put-downs, none of which seem to stem from unfortunate personal interactions or experiences, barring the removal of the Trump/Pence sign. Given that it was potentially on city property, is it possible that the banner could not be legally displayed and was removed by the city? If it was legal then it should have been left untouched. We can agree on that one point at least.

I teach at Hofstra University and my students have included residents of the Rockaways, including Breezy Point. The day after the election classes proceeded as normal, but when appropriate students and professors, including myself, discussed the outcome. As a teacher in the Fine Art Department, the majority of my students are liberal, but nonetheless, one of the major conversations we have had is cultivating understanding “across the aisle” and across the country. My students and myself have endeavored to understand what appealed to voters when they cast their ballot for Trump. We have sought to move outside our own bubbles and see more clearly the issues affecting those who found Trump’s message appealing.

I encourage Peter Mahon to move outside his own bubble. Given that 1.4 million more people voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, there is clearly a large population that is receiving this election news differently and have valid concerns that Mahon dismisses through his focus on responses he describes as “absurdity." Concerns about economic outcomes, climate change, hate crimes, women’s rights, and freedom of speech and the press are not absurd, just as the concerns of Trump voters regarding immigration, jobs, trade, and terrorism are not absurd. Yet rather than use his column to share why these important issues led to his vote for Trump, Mahon delineates winners and losers in a manner more appropriate to a Facebook post than newspaper column.

Susannah Ray

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