Russ White MUG

The Democratic Party presidential-nominating campaign is going to be fun to watch if you’re a political junkie like I am. There are multiple lanes for candidates to run in, and multiple candidates to run in each of them.

As of today, there are 15 people who have announced they are in, and several more who are expected to toss their hats in the ring in the coming days. There is no doubt this is going to be the most diverse and inclusive slate in American history.

Included in the 15 are six women, two African-Americans, and one Latino. There are six sitting senators, three representatives (one sitting, two former), two governors (one sitting, one former), two mayors (again, one and one), an author, a tech executive, and the first openly gay candidate in presidential history. Not included, so far, is a former vice president, who is expected to run.

It is a formidable group that represents a broad cross section of American society. The candidates range in age from 37 to 77, and represent every corner of the American map, including Hawaii.

It will be interesting to see how the field winnows itself over the campaign. No matter who comes out on top, it will be a vast improvement over the current occupant of the Oval Office.

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Speaking of the current occupant of the Oval Office, he once again failed this week to call out white-supremacist terrorism after the horrendous slaughter carried out in New Zealand. And, once again, we see a white-supremacist terrorist crediting our president for his hateful ideology.

Of course, the president cannot be blamed directly for any of these atrocities. Blame falls on the sick individuals who carry out the attacks. But, through his silence, and his hints toward violence in his rallies, the current U.S. president is their enabler.

Right-wing, white-supremacist extremism is a growing cancer on societies around the world. In 2018, every single extremist murder in the USA was committed by right-wing extremists. It is a scourge that needs to be recognized and addressed.

This president refuses to do so. He infamously said there were “very fine people on both sides” after Charlottesville, and this week stated that white supremacists are a “small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”

It is not a very small group. We ignore them at our peril. Wish we had a leader.

— White, a retired fire services chief in South Florida, lives in Orange City. Send email to info@beacononlinenews.com.