‘Come on, man,” indeed, writes Arthur Keller in his letter published on March 11. Really?

He characterizes disgraced former president Donald Trump as a “true leader.” The obvious irony is that Trump was almost never “true,” and leaves a large chasm between his criminal behavior and leadership: Godfather Don Corleone was a leader, too, but leadership without morality leads to chaos. How much more of Trump’s evil must be revealed before those sipping the orange Kool-Aid will figure out that they’ve been duped?

He lauds Trump for being “respectful” toward Putin and Kim Jung Un, two world leaders who unceremoniously imprison (or, when more expedient, murder) their enemies; also ironic in that when reflecting on Trump’s attitude to those not faithful to his cult of personality, “respectful,” like “truthful,” are among the last words to suggest themselves.

He claims that the events of Jan. 6 are being “weaponized.” Gosh, wasn’t it Trump who quite clearly said he was not worried about the Jan. 6 mob, led by extremist Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, previously admonished to “stand back and stand by?” They came bearing arms, which was just fine with Trump because he knew those weapons were not intended to be used against him. (Who, pray tell, was their intended target?) There is no shame among the MAGA faithful, and no limit to the extremes to which they will go to try to persuade us, in spite of what we saw with our own eyes, that an armed insurrection was not an armed insurrection, but rather a media stunt staged by the left. Balderdash!

And worse still is the stubborn and desperate refusal to abandon such entirely discredited beliefs, especially now, after the disclosure that Fox “News” and its most popular hypocrite, Tucker Carlson, knowingly continue to spew lies to the effect that the election that most definitely was not stolen was stolen, and what we saw as insurrection was a propagandized miscasting of a democratic expression by law-abiding, patriotic, peace-loving tourists. Come on, man!

Another failure to recognize the forest on account of the trees is the way Keller confidently asserts that Trump’s canceling of an Obama safety regulation had no part in the toxic, Norfolk Southern derailment in Palestine, Ohio. He also credits Trump for appearing there while Biden hasn’t, even though during his own term, (1) Trump never appeared for any of the life-claiming derailments on his watch, (2) there were no fatalities in Palestine, and (3) the Ohio governor, though personally invited to do so, decided it would be impolitic to seek help from Biden.

At length, Keller betrays his true (albeit misinformed) bias: it is the Democrats, not the MAGA Republicans, who lie and deceive, all part of the grand conspiracy which is to undermine fundamental values.

You know, values like democracy matters, one person, one vote, separation of church and state, racial discrimination is wrong, freedom of speech should not give license and safe haven to chronic liars like Trump and those aspiring to replicate him, like George Santos and Ron DeSantis.

Based on all the evil he has done, the impending indictments against him in New York for his felonious payment of hush money to Stormy Daniels, violations of election law in Georgia, and taking, hiding, and lying about classified documents he took with him when his stay in the White House was cut short by the will of the people, of whom seven million more voted for his opponent than him, and record admissions by one of his personal attorneys in Colorado Bar disciplinary proceedings censuring her because she told multiple lies to the public and through the media to promote the “Big Lie” on behalf of her boss, I had become pretty optimistic that most voters would reject Trump a third time (remember, he lost the popular vote in 2016, too).

Then I see a letter like the one from Keller, and despair of the rampant, pervasive and willful ignorance about Trump that still holds sway in the Susquehanna Valley.

Joe DeCristopher lives in Lewisburg.

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