Take a Hike, Steranko

A giant who turned out to be a small man.

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When we first set out to create 13th Dimension three years ago, one of the things I wanted to make sure of is that anyone would feel welcome. I wasn’t interested in being the kind of comics site that traded in rumors or nastiness. Winking snark, sure. But nothing more than that.

In essence, I wanted this to be a site that celebrates comics. If I don’t like something, I tend to ignore it. Why knock an artist you don’t like? Why call out a writer whose material you find subpar? I’ve never set out to be a definitive review site.

That’s not to say I’m a Pollyanna. Far from it. If I feel strongly about something, I’ll say it and say it loudly.

And that brings me to Jim Steranko.

I’ve spent a decent amount of cyber-ink praising the work of an artist and writer who is unquestionably one of the most influential creators in the history of comics. In fact, it was his birthday the other day, and I not only re-publicized older pieces that saluted him, I put together a fresh 13 COVERS tribute, showing off how his work was published around the world.

Then, on the eve of the only truly frightening election of my adult life, Jim Steranko went off his hinges with a lengthy Twitter rant espousing all the reasons he was supporting the Republican nominee — a person who has boasted of sexually assaulting women, proclaimed he wanted to ban Muslims from this country and wants to build a wall to keep out the Mexicans, who in his warped mind, are a bunch of drug-dealing rapists. Those are just three of many, many lowlights.

In my mind, right there, the self-styled STERANKO transformed into Crazy Uncle Jim. I was mortified and horrified — especially since I’d just spent time and effort praising him days earlier.

But I resolved to let it go as just one more loony voice, disappointed as I was. Social media and the rest of the internet responded accordingly and that was that.

Then, this morning, I saw Crazy Uncle Jim gloating over the victory of a reactionary hate-monger — the least-qualified person to enter the Oval Office in our 240 years of existence. Steranko tweeted his defiance against those who would drown out his free speech.

Free speech. Well, here’s where my free speech comes in.

Jim Steranko is finished here, persona non grata. I have no patience or tolerance for anyone who could so rigorously support a candidate with such hate in his heart. I will never celebrate this guy ever again. (Side note: I won’t remove what’s been written about him here because in the 21st century, that’s tantamount to book burning, a reprehensible act in itself. If people find it, they find it. So be it.)

I predict that his backers will say that Steranko is a giant and I’m just some guy with a website. Whatever. You have to start somewhere. Think globally, act locally.

And to anyone who says they voted for Donald Trump because he was the lesser of two evils? You don’t understand the true nature of evil.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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67 Comments

  1. That’s very surprising as most (if not all) of the comic professionals are Democrat supporters

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    • There’s a fairly important comic professional who’s nastily Republican. Seems like he’s the guy behind Sin City, but I don’t remember just who.

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  2. Disclaimer: I voted 3rd party in a state which went overwhelming to Trump.

    I’ll bet you have never met a Trump voter, and you have no idea what they hope for or fear. Because of that, calling Steranko “evil” is, at best, craven and retrograde.

    It’s your website. You be You, dude. But when you have started doing to those who disagree with you what you would call evil and ignorant when they do it to you, you have become what you say you hate.

    Best wishes to you. Be kind to the people you see every day. Live like you mean the best for them. In that world, it doesn’t matter who is President.

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    • I voted third party also. But have seen enough commentary about why people voted for Trump vs. Hillary. Let it rest. And, in any case, don’t care. I’m sure Steranko is deeply hurt by a no talent criticizing his political views.

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      • Smithallen301, you’re an idiot. Grow up.

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  3. Well said. People might want to look hard and long at the people they regard as their heroes.
    If Steranko thinks Trump is someone to look up to, he’s an idiot, much like Trump himself. Trump demeans the office he will occupy, and Steranko might want to learn some grace in victory too.
    If you can call last night a victory.

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  4. Well, I guess that I go with him, then. I just awoke from the first truly peaceful nights’ sleep that I’ve had in eight miserable, frustrating, dangerous, shameful years. Thank you America, for finally waking up. Great days are ahead.

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  5. Terrific post. I couldn’t agree more.

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  6. Hi dan, my name is chris simons and i own i like comics in vancouver, washington. We’re very proud to be the largest comic shop in the northwest. I just wanted to say thanks for what you wrote. I agree entirely. In 6 years of owning a store ive welcomed everyone into my shop. Not jim steranko. I grew up loving his work but now he is the first person to be banned from i like comics.

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    • Don’t kid yourself. If you ban someone because you don’t like who he voted for, you are not “welcoming”

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      • I haven’t banned him. I made it clear that anything that’s been written about him here will stay on the site. To take anything down would be extremist and akin to book burning. I’m saying we’re no longer celebrating him in the future. If you don’t understand the difference, well, I don’t know what to tell you Malteseterp … if that’s your real name.

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        • It’s a pretty safe bet that it isn’t his real name, but his point, that you are shunning an artist for a political disagreement, is as intolerant as anything that you claim the other side is doing. You’ve labeled Steranko a thought criminal.

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  7. I’ve been that way about Frank Miller for years and I get shunned in comics groups constantly. Just because you’re talented, doesn’t mean you get to be a misogynistic racist Islamophobe w/o me calling you on it.

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    • Frank Miller publicaly supported Hillary and even used #ImWithHer

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      • Correction, her said “I’m voting for her” but didn’t use the hashtag.
        The message is the same though.

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  8. Is this a political site or a comics site? Letting someone’s political views ruin your appreciation for art is just stupid. Clinton just spoke and told her supporters to come together and give Trump the benefit of the doubt and the chance to lead. If she can rise above politics, I think you can grow up and do the same.

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  9. Mr. Greenfield, I share your disappointment in both the election results and Steranko’s position in this election. I however make this suggestion to you. Do not I repeat Do not take this stance on Steranko. I was impressed with the way you started this piece off with. You began the 13th Dimension to mean something. You should stick to that initial goal. It’s more important now than ever before that we hold to those lofty ideals and goals. You don’t have to praise the man for his personal beliefs in order to praise his artists endeavors. I’m not suggesting you go out of your way to discuss him. In order to appear impartial. Just don’t go out of your way to avoid discussing him .

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  10. Amen! How anyone could vote for that Trump is beyond me.

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    • Ya know. The only positive I had today was that I just got The Shield Complete Collection Omnibus the other day and it is full of amazing Steranko work that I was gonna loose myself in and find a happy place. Is nothing sacred? Has everything been tainted? This election is literally effecting my comics

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    • Damn. I loved Steranko. He had a massive effect on me as a kid and my illustration work. I’m doing a show in February and was going to try and get him for the show. After reading this there is no way I will have anything to do with him. Thanks for the info.

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    • To understand the Trump voter you had to live your life on the other side of the tracks. We over here in the rust belt did not have rich parents that sent us off to college. For the most part we were walked out of the high school and straight in to the coal mine, steel mill or the automobile assembly plant if we were lucky. If you were not that lucky you got a factory job that made car parts for a buck or two over minimum wage. The really lucky ones got jobs in government that had great benefits and got to retire at 50. We eventually continued our education to progress in our careers. Very few of us have been at the same job the last 30 years. And only a small amount of us ever created any thing that would pay us for anything past our last pay check.

      We grew, raised our children to be good people and citizens. You may not see it in the comic book biz. Here in middle America these stupid trade deals are killing americas future. No republican or democrat would dare say that. Because they are in the pocket of the Chinese lobbyists. You do not have to look far here to see the devastation these trade deals have wrought.

      What is wrong with wanting to put Americans to work? What is wrong with wanting a secure border? What is wrong with wanting a stable foreign policy? What is wrong with wanting the police respected?

      Trump mentioned in the debate that the Clintons have been in power for the last 30 years, where has that gotten us? The default for liberals is calling someone a racist. We need to get the economy moving, not just for the robber Barron’s on Wall Street and the elite political class. One last thing about the last 30 years. My wife has worked at the same nursing home for 32 years. 30 years ago when old people checked in, they had cradle to crave benefits paid by there former employer. Today every one comes in with Medicare or Medicaid. No one has a pension or benefits.

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      • There has been plenty of progress in the last 30 years. And plenty of regression as well; it has gone back and forth. Economically Republicans have touted and enacted tax cuts and supply side economics which has been shown to be ineffective and increased the deficit. Then you have the Iraq War mistake which really increased the deficit after a surplus under Bill Clinton (Reagan also increased it back in the 80s). To blame the Clintons for all economic woes is to ignore the Republican approach to economics and a goodly chunk of political history.

        It also ignores plenty of accomplishments Hillary has had – the Heroes at Home Act in 2006 and 2007 to help family members care for those with Traumatic Brain Injury; increasing the military survivor benefit from $12,000 to $100,000, extending benefits provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act. She helped create the State Children’s Health Insurance Program program in 1997 that increased health coverage for children in low income and working families. Hillary also co-wrote a law compelling drug companies to conduct safety tests for products prescribed for children and the list goes on.

        Nothing wrong with wanting to put people to work. After the worst recession in memory, under Obama 14.4 million jobs were added in this recovery. Unemployment peaked at 10% in 2010 and is now only 4.9%. Home prices have finally recovered to their pre-crash (2005) highs. The Dow and S&P 500 are at record highs and the Nasdaq has gone above even its Dot-com era peak. Average income for the bottom 99% grew 3.9% in 2015, the best growth in 17 years.

        Deficits under Obama? President Bush’s tax cuts, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain most of the deficits that have occurred on Obama’s watch — based on the Congressional Budget Office.

        Yes this doesn’t mean everyone is seeing improvement but it takes time after such a hit to the economy precipitated by the Bush years
        .
        If you think Trump’s business acumen (or lack thereof) is going to help the economy, look again. Failed businesses, lawsuits, major losses. He wants to both cut taxes AND increase spending. According to independent experts have stated that Trump’s tax plan “would blow up the debt by over $5 trillion and would in some instances disadvantage middle-class families compared to the wealthy.” That debt estimate was also reached by the conservative Tax Foundation and the deficit-hawk Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

        Liberals aren’t just the ones calling Trump racist. His OWN PARTY has – see Paul Ryan for example.

        He has shown he has neither the attention span nor temperament to oversee complex policy.

        He has demeaned women and ethnic and religious groups and even the disabled (visible on YouTube).

        If you think he is your savior, you have been drinking the Cool-Aid.

        CAVEAT EMPTOR

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        • Wow…you are so right! An absolute despicable, deplorable, ridiculous buffoon. I can’t imagine how Hillary feels losing to a toad like this. Must really hurt…

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      • Michael Snyder, you are incredibly naive if you think Trump is going ot be any different. Every single person being considered for his cabinet is among the same political machine that has been in place for all those decades. Trump played you guys by making you think he gives a damn about the lower class. He never has and he never will. He’s a billionaire who hangs out with other billionaires, and he played you. Voting for a racist, misogynistic piece of crap endorsed by the KKK is NOT the answer to your problems.

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    • I could care less about Steranko and even less about Trump. I voted for other guy… gal. Whatever. Most of the people I know voted more against someone than for their candidate, so it really was a matter of choosing between the lesser of two evils. And I’m a theologian so I have a pretty good handle on what evil is. Point in fact, one of the main villains in my first scifi book was a guy wearing a Hillary Clinton mask… yet i voted for her precisely because she was the lesser of two evils.

      Having said that, bringing down the ban hammer over politics strikes me as peevish and immature. Do his politics invalidate his contributions? Because even if he was being obnoxious (and God knows that’s been going around) its irrelevant to comics. Time to grow up

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  11. This is supposed to be comics related. Just because you are a whiny liberal kid who never learned how to lose gracefully, does not give you any reason to try to diminish this master of the visual arts. Grow up!

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    • Glen Patton, YOU grow up. You sound like an uneducated jackass.

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  12. I will never understand how hate, and degrading a religion, a race, a gender makes you a better person.
    Winners of this election are not made overnight. This wasn’t a football game, history will be the final determination of success or failure for our nation

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  13. Dan, get a grip! Lots of us agree with Jim on the Trump issue. You should now be supporting your new president. Are you?

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    • Russ Cochran, there is nothing good about supporting a man who promotes racism, bigotry and the mistreatment of women. You’re a naive sheep and apparently a racist.

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  14. As an Englishman, you have my sincerest sympathy as to what might happen to your nation over the next presidential term. I hope that as a nation you are able to stand strong in the face of your newest adversity. As a world we will get nowhere while hatred and intolerance are still considered acceptable

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  15. I didn’t see any of Steranko’s tweets or rants, but he’s entitled to his opinion. I don’t happen to share it. I hope he and the other supporters are right, and that we all succeed in the new era… but I have a feeling that an awful lot has been promised without the ability to deliver. And so, there’s going to be an even bigger backlash next election cycle as a majority of people are frustrated and feel lied to again. (By the way, please tell me again just exactly HOW this whole thing was “rigged”? Was the fix truly in?)

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  16. LOL! Steranko is a giant and youre just some guy with a website…you lose like Hillary.

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    • Rivers Cuomo Jr, please finish middle school before you attempt to insult someone again. You have the writing ability of a 12-year-old, and you come off like an idiot as a result. Grow up, kid.

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  17. SO, basically, everyone is cool if they agree with how YOU think? Seems to me his body of work is what you were praising, never the man. Respect what he did, but don’t go Ape-S**t because he has opinions you can’t concur with; this is the United States and he is allowed to feel how he wants, and say what he wants. This goes back to the line you should never meet your heroes. Know why? Because they are human. They are fallible. They are imperfect. . . just like you. He is allowed to shout how happy he is that his “side” won. I know a lot of democrats who would have gloated if they had been on the other side. Get over yourself. Your reaction is the more pathetic of the two of you.

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    • So… “this is the United States and he is allowed to feel how he wants, and say what he wants” but your coming down on Dan for stating what he feels? Uneducated hypocrite.

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      • You seem to have a problem with critical thinking. I will educate you. People don’t have a problem with Dan expressing his opinion; they have a problem with him BANNING Steranko because of who he voted for.
        And no, I don’t expect you to to really understand that distinction.

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        • I haven’t banned him. I made it clear that anything that’s been written about him here will stay on the site. To take anything down would be extremist and akin to book burning. I’m saying we’re no longer celebrating him in the future. If you don’t understand the difference, well, I don’t know what to tell you Malteseterp … if that’s your real name.

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  18. Right on, Dan. This is your blog.

    We all know what Jolly Jack thought of bullies. He would be disappointed that his colleague Jim turned out to be on the wrong side of morality (and, god willing, history).

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    • “Bullies” – I guess the irony of that comment escapes you. Jim Steranko just voted and expressed an opinion. Dan is the one banning him. Dan is the bully.

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      • I haven’t banned him. I made it clear that anything that’s been written about him here will stay on the site. To take anything down would be extremist and akin to book burning. I’m saying we’re no longer celebrating him in the future. If you don’t understand the difference, well, I don’t know what to tell you Malteseterp … if that’s your real name.

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  19. Is this what they call “liberal tolerance,” when you silence any opinion daring to differ from your own?

    No thanks. I stand with Steranko and his right to free speech, not your little website and knee-jerk reaction to censor him.

    Just stopped following on twitter and will no longer frequent this site. I don’t tolerate intolerance.

    Good luck and good fortune.

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    • Goose Gibson, I doubt anyone here will shed a tear about a racist no longer visiting this site.

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  20. Lighten up, Francis.

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  21. He didn’t want Hillary to be President of the United States and gave reasons to support his opinion. Half the country agrees with him.

    Grow up.

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    • You’re an idiot.

      Grow up.

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  22. Good for you. Not worth giving any more attention to the guy. His rants just repeated all the same pathetic whining and bull that typified Trump’s campaign. Kirby would not be amused. Steranko, Agent of H.A.T.E.

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    • Agents Of H.A.T.E. – now THAT’S a show I’d watch! Not like the Fury-less S.H.A.Z.A.M./Isis Hour show that’s running now…

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  23. In my view comic books are a very trivial thing. Not in the least important when compared to politics. My interest in Steranko’s work dissipated a long time ago, but if I was still interested in his work I would never look at it again.

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  24. Dear Trump supporter and person who denies others the right to speak/feel as they wish–listen— Life is difficult. Growing up and out of happy or sad childhoods and into the weird world of grown ups is a great challenge. We drag along our pasts and look to our futures. Everyone has a right to speak their mind–take a position–agree or disagree with others. The present can be frightening. Trump has said many disturbing things. Disregarding these in the name of an imagined world filled with dreams of change is to support Trump’s brand of evil. What he will REALLY do remains a mystery because the man speaks with a forked tongue. He says one thing one day and discounts his words the next. A good person says what they mean, and mean what they say. Trump has played with the unhappiness and fears of many, many people. Their disappointment–and he will disappoint them–will reverberate in their lives. It is part of growing up to be disappointed, so I salute you–people who will be disappointed in Trump when he tramples your dreams–and I hope this experience/awakening is not the most difficult part of your maturing into adulthood/life. Love, Norma

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  25. Again – how did Hillary lose to him? She must truly be the worst major party candidate of all time! Oh well – I was kinda sick of the Clintons anyway.

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  26. A number of people have advised Dan to “grow up.” Anyone who places comic books ahead of politics is not in a position to be telling anyone to grow up.

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    • Thanks for your comment Mr. Ford–. Actually, it doesn’t matter where one voices concern about the current political scene. If comic book lovers have been really paying attention over the years to what appears in the “comics” they will find that at all times the comics reflected the concerns of most Americans and it appears that today most America s are NOT Trump supporters. So expressions against Trump belong in the13th dimension site, as well as on television, in newspapers and everywhere on the internet. Watch what the bi-polar Trump does, my friends, once he is in absolute power. I believe that without his meds he will drag us down to hell and I will not sit idly by and watch this great country go down into madness–but will try in any way I can to prevent this— Mrs. Don Martin (Norma Haimes Martin)

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    • There are a bazillion websites that discuss politics. This one is supposed to be about comics. Plus, you don’t ban people because you don’t like who they voted for. That’s just ridiculous and petty.

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  27. You seem to have a problem with critical thinking. I will educate you. People don’t have a problem with Dan expressing his opinion; they have a problem with him BANNING Steranko because of who he voted for.

    And no, I don’t expect you to to really understand that distinction.

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    • I haven’t banned him. I made it clear that anything that’s been written about him here will stay on the site. To take anything down would be extremist and akin to book burning. I’m saying we’re no longer celebrating him in the future. If you don’t understand the difference, well, I don’t know what to tell you Malteseterp … if that’s your real name.

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  28. You know what? A comic book never killed anyone. The greatest comic book or comic strip in the history of the world means nothing as compared to the evil which is the Republican party.

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  29. knocking a man for is views is horseshit

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  30. You should have seen what Peter David said about my people, the Romani, especially those like me who are Roma.

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  31. He was a total gentleman both times I have met him, signed my Shadow books with no charge (marveling at their condition) and I bought a poster and a Spider book. I got told by George Perez on his FB post that I was an “evil person” and a “criminal” in his post and that he couldn’t interact with people that expressed their freedom of choice. STERANKO is a giant and liberals are a bunch of whiny babypeople who just got awards just for showing up. Thanks for telling me who you are, delicate snowflake…

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  32. There will soon be four dangerous years to live through. Trump supporters truly believe he will put 2 chicken in every pot, guarantee a pay check every week and infrastructures that can miraculously heal themselves. The WALL will be greater then China’s with entertainment bazars along the way. I am willing to give the man a chance–I have no other option –however he is like a rope dancer swaying with uncertainty, high up in the hazy air. If only he would stay stay put; but he dangles up there with his boasts and promises of things to come and then moves forward with men who will put us on the road to more division and fiscal ruin. But I will wait; I have no other choice. However, allow me the right to gripe if things go downhill or disappoint me. I am made of steel, not a snowflake and I and will speak my mind even when the water hoses blast me…

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  33. LATEST NEWS: I hate to say this, but if Trump goes ahead with an army of National Guardsmen to get “bad” illegal aliens, we may have another KENT STATE (1970) wherein several students were killed. Read about it and be concerned… Mrs. Norma Haimes Martin

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