Vail Daily letter: Trump egoism
November 5, 2016
The punishment for Luis Juarez Ramos so foolishly created by Kaye Ferry and Bill Douglas of the Eagle County Republican Party as retribution for Ramos' destruction of Trump campaign signs is not just inappropriate and reprehensible, but completely hypocritical and pathetically representative of the selfish Trump-style politics that seem to have gripped the country.
For those that don't follow — Ramos cut down Trump campaign signs that were lawfully erected. He was caught. Instead of bringing criminal charges against Ramos, Ferry and Douglas offered him this punishment: pay for the signs, write a letter to the Vail Daily and — here is where it is in no part reasonable — to go wave a Trump sign with Trump supporters.
In one case Ramos was legally and morally wrong to do what he did, but it is certainly worse ethically for Douglas and Ferry to coerce a young man under threat into violating his conscience while dressing it up as an "opportunity," and to succeed in committing essentially the same ethical offense of interfering with one's freedoms of expression to further their own interests.
It has no feel of kindness or redress and every feel of revenge for satisfaction and is, I'm afraid, symptomatic and emblematic of the narcissistic ideologies that plague minds in our nation.
A functioning society, be it in trade from afar or local opportunity, is absolutely dependent on notions of fairness. This is particularly (and what I thought obviously) the case with justice. For too many weeks we've been given a platform for the dangerous principle of egoism, one where we label a positive outcome as having bullied or having the ability to bully one entity into submission for the benefit of another. We can't treat self-interest as the foundation of morality in our society while living collectively in the county, state, country or world.
It is despicable enough the Trump candidacy has so jubilantly and ignorantly celebrated this "I win, you lose" philosophy in policy discussion for the nation, and that a far too sizable chunk of the population has fallen in line with such damaging and dysfunctional ideologies.
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It is another thing, entirely more dangerous, when someone tries to inject such self-interest into the landscape of justice. That is precisely what Ferry and Douglas have done and they should be ashamed of their decision.