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Slant 9-29-2016

•  Donald Trump’s run for the presidency happened largely because the Republican Party strategically sold the American people on distrust and hatred for their government and attempted to destroy public education. Trump demonstrated all those values and worse in the Sept. 26 debate against Hillary Clinton. The media has enabled Trump through false equivalencies, such as trying to portray Clinton as just as prone to being untruthful as the Donald. As he flatly denied statements he has made — posted on Twitter for all to see — like climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, Trump showed himself to be a liar and a fraud. 

• The split-screen was quite the silent player in the first presidential debate. It put Hillary and Donald on the same level. He wasn’t the big strong guy standing over the little weak woman. Of course, the debate should be about content not staging, but you can bet the Trumpsters will negotiate fiercely to eliminate the split-screen in round two.

• There was plenty of disagreement in the forum on Sept. 23 between Oregon’s secretary of state candidates, but it was always civil. Sponsored by the City Club of Eugene, the forum included Republican Dennis Richardson, Democrat Brad Avakian and Pacific Green Alan Zundel. After Nov. 8, one will be secretary of state, next in line to the governor. Politics, even in Oregon, are so toxic right now. Gun rights advocates are burning Gov. Brown in effigy on the Capitol steps. A big sign west of Eugene says, “Is Hillary too big to jail?” That’s why the decency of the City Club forum was so welcome. We will pick Avakian as the “winner” of this event and, hopefully, Oregon’s next secretary of state.

The open carry gun protest on Sept. 23 caught most of Oregon’s news media flatfooted. EW freelancer Mike Bivins was on the scene, and we gave permission to The Oregonian, KGW and other news outlets to use his photos and Tweets (some others just grabbed them without permission). The Oregon Legislature is not in session right now, but politics happen year round. It’s disheartening how few media eyes are watching Salem. Support your local media; they need to have feet on the ground. As Bivins points out in his story this week, the effigy of Brown that was burned made reference to the Malheur occupation; when angry people flaunting weapons go stomping around the halls of government, we need to take note, especially since Oct. 1 marks the first anniversary of the Umpqua Community College shooting in which nine people, as well as the shooter, died as a result of gun violence.

• Last week, the Lane Community College Board of Education endorsed Measure 97, a bold statement in favor of this politically charged ballot measure that would raise the minimum tax on corporations with more than $25 million in Oregon sales, with funds going toward public schools, health care and senior care. Many school boards around Oregon are staying mum on Measure 97, including locally — Eileen Nittler of the 4J school board has voiced her personal support of Measure 97, though there’s been no formal announcement from the school board itself. Supporters call Measure 97 a “game changer” for Oregon schools that would help make up for decades of underfunding, and we’re glad to see that the LCC board agrees.