From Hollywood to Main Street, Americans rise against hate

From Hollywood to Main Street, Americans rise against hate
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In the print edition of this week’s Hollywood Reporter, I took out a full-page ad titled “Hollywood rises for hope against fear.” 

Across America, from campuses to churches, from union halls to town meetings, from Hollywood to Main Street, Americans are rising and will soon be voting against the hate, fear and lies that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE pedals in his closing argument of his bitterly divisive midterm election campaign.

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The point of my Hollywood Reporter ad is to applaud those throughout the creative community who have risen to the occasion during our national crisis with a generosity of spirit and the courage of their convictions, reviving the spirit that inspired Frank Sinatra and countless others who supported President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last April, as America was remembering and honoring Dr. King, I wrote a column applauding a moving interview by Victor Blackwell with Martin Luther King III on CNN's New Day Saturday. Dr. King’s son lifted CNN viewers by discussing how the noble dream of his father remains alive today. 

Several weeks earlier, Dr. King’s 9-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, electrified hundreds of thousands of citizens marching in Washington for the right of students to be free from being mass murdered in their classrooms, with these words: "Spread the word. Have you heard? All across the nation. We are going to be a great generation."

Next week, voters will determine who we are as a people and what we stand for as a nation.

In recent days, bombs were sent to:

  • two former presidents,
  • a former vice president,
  • two former first ladies,
  • a former attorney general,
  • a prominent entertainer,
  • an investor and philanthropist,
  • a senator from New Jersey,
  • a senator from California,
  • a congresswomen from California,
  • a former CIA director,
  • a retired general and former director of national intelligence and
  • CNN, one beacon among many of the free press that reports the news.

The man who sent these bombs wore the "Make America Great Again" hat the president favors, cheered at rallies where Trump tells supporters whom to hate, and he aimed his bombs at those Trump tells supporters are evil.

Even after the alleged bomb-mailer was arrested, instead of calling the targets of the bombs to express the decency and solidarity of the nation, Trump continues to vilify the bombs' targets and call the free press the enemy of the people.

Now, the closing argument of Trump Republicans in the midterm campaign is to rouse supporters via hatred for the free press and fear of a migrant caravan that the man who committed mass murder in a synagogue claims, like the president, is invading America.

Trump, who spent years spreading the birther lie against President Obama, now escalates his insults of Hispanics by escalating his attacks against birthright citizenship guaranteed under law by the Constitution.

Voters will soon have the opportunity to vote for hope over hate by supporting one of the most talented and compelling groups of Democrats in memory running in the midterm elections.

Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams (D), who is receiving a powerful boost as Oprah Winfrey campaigns with her, is running with dignity and honor to make history as governor of Georgia against one of the massive and heinous attacks against voting rights since the dark days of the segregated South.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who, according to one recent poll, may be the closing the gap against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the closing days of the campaign while early voting in Texas has surged to historic numbers, is running a profile-in-courage campaign to serve as senator from Texas.

Gavin Newsom, current lieutenant governor of California, honors the legacy of his hero, Robert Kennedy, in his campaign for governor of California, while Democrats running for Congress in California and elsewhere have a strong chance of regaining control of the House.

Andrew Gillum, current mayor of Tallahassee, Fla., is running a noble, brilliant campaign to make history and serve as the next governor of Florida.

Democratic men and women who have been heroes defending freedom in uniform are running for Congress with high ideals and great aspirations in districts across America.

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), who is a living embodiment of the values and visions I tried to describe in my Hollywood Reporter ad, is campaigning for Democrats throughout the land.

The midterm elections offer voters a referendum. They can purge the poison that infects politics in Washington and support Democrats who offer a unifying, healing and uplifting vision for America.

Or, they can give one-party power to Republicans who practice a politics of attack and derision that appeals to the lesser instincts of our nature and would make our nation a house bitterly divided against itself. 

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.