Rev. Kent’s Letter to the Editor re the First Presidential Debate

Dear USG,

Rev. Kent sent a version of this letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday morning following the first presidential debate of Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. To date (October 1), it has not been published, but Kent wants to share it with you.

President Trump was despicable and unbefitting the office of president last night in the presidential debate.  This is not a surprise. But last night was another horrid experience that should energize the people of our nation to vote him out of office in November. 

Although the president made many abhorrent statements last night, three stand out:

He perpetuated the lie that voter fraud is and will be rampant, saying, “This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen. This is not going to end well.” Yet his own FBI Director, Christopher Wray, told lawmakers just last week there is no evidence of a “coordinated national voter fraud effort.” 

More heinous was President Trump’s refusal to denounce White Supremacy and his dogwhistle message to the Proud Boys, an alt-right organization that’s been called a “modern-day KKK.” Telling them to “stand back and stand by” was a thinly-veiled call to arms if the election doesn’t go his way. 

Finally, and to this lover of our city, also egregiously, the president declared that “Bad things happen in Philadelphia.”  He was referring to a non-partisan Board of Elections office which helps people register to vote and clarify information, thus supporting our democratic process.  Trump supporters who came to “Poll Watch” at the office were blocked not because they were Republicans, but because they refused to follow Covid-19 safety protocols.

Mr. President, I say: “Great things happen in Philadelphia.”  And in the upcoming elections Philadelphia is going to be the biggest city in a swing state to have a massive – legal and honorable – voter turnout, which will ensure the defeat of despicable candidates running for the offices they are not befit to hold. 

Kent Matthies (he/him), Minister, Unitarian Society of Germantown, Philadelphia, PA,