When I started reading the Aug. 27 letter from Anne Marshall (“Trump supporters are full of hope”) I thought of the adage, “Hope springs eternal in the human heart.”
It’s admirable that these people are not feeling the despair many have felt since the election as we see the president demonstrate few leadership qualities and take actions that damage our nation.
When she wrote, “Like them, he loves the country and believes in a meritocracy,” I was shocked and disturbed. The definition of meritocracy is “a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead based on their achievements.” Included in the definition from Merriam-Webster was this quote from R.P. Warren: “...only the elite, in that new meritocracy, would enjoy the opportunity for self-fulfillment.”
When the nation’s founders wrote about forming “a more perfect Union,” do Trump supporters really believe they meant only intellectually superior people? What happens to those who never achieve the American dream? In a meritocracy, these folks wouldn’t matter. In a meritocracy, people like Ms. Marshall, myself and all the other visitors to the Grange Fair wouldn’t even have opportunities for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
One of the problems I’ve had with the election of Trump is knowing that many of my fellow Americans can justify discriminatory beliefs like this one. It’s a small step from believing in a meritocracy to believing in white supremacy. I’m very fearful that at least 35 percent of this nation wants to go there.
Frances G. Scalise, State College