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What does it say about us as a society when we routinely ignore unprincipled behavior exhibited by our president?

On a regular basis, President Donald Trump makes false statements, bullies his critics, separates young children from their parents at our borders, condones white supremacist actions of others, insults members of Congress who speak out against his policies and uses inflammatory rhetoric to encourage hate and bigotry among his supporters.

These behaviors are not a matter of opinion. They have been well documented by various media and by those who work inside the White House.

With a president who accepts and often encourages white nationalism among his supporters, it is not surprising that the number of hate crimes has risen since Trump took office.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting: 2012-2017, hate crimes related to race/ethnicity and religion have seen continual growth for three consecutive years.

And in a separate study reported in the Washington Post, counties that hosted political rallies for Trump in 2016 saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such rallies.

Our silence condones and normalizes the president’s unprincipled behavior.

I have contacted our elected officials many times to ask them to speak out about Trump’s conduct.

I do not ask them to pursue impeachment, but rather to demand that the president behave with decency and honesty as befits the office.

I encourage readers to do the same. Our children are watching.

PEGGY PATTEN

Urbana

News-Gazette