Volunteer firefighter Steve Greenfield condemns Trump pardon of arsonists
Steve Greenfield, Green Party candidate for the House Of Representatives, and a 14-year veteran firefighter in New York’s 19th district, today condemned President Trump’s pardon of two convicted arsonists in Oregon in the strongest possible terms.
“A Presidential pardon for convicted arsonists is unprecedented in the United States, and that the arsonists in question were the inspiration for a white supremacist terror attack against law enforcement agents and federal property in the United States, on top of the attacks against firefighters and federal property in the original arsons, is both Trump’s reason for the pardon, and why it is such a dangerous blow to the very bedrock of traditional American life. It is volunteer firefighters, and emergency responders in general, who made America great from the days of its inception, and never stopped making America great to this day — not rogue politicians who give carte blanche to the domestic terrorists who have us in their crosshairs, not only by excusing them for their grave crimes, but offering them the highest praise, as if it is the criminals, and not the brave people who were put at acute risk by their crimes, who are the heroes. Trump might as well have walked up to a group of volunteer firefighters in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot them in the face, as Trump himself has put it. That he was able to do this without criticism from Congressman John Faso, who has thousands of volunteer firefighters in our almost entirely rural district, speaks volumes about his general failure to serve and protect the 19th District over the last two years, and the substitution, thus far, of personal attacks against Democrats for sound policy proposals in his re-election campaign. My loyalties are where they belong: with the firefighters. Arson is a crime against civilization itself. Conviction for the crime of arson has never before been politicized. Without forceful, non-partisan resistance, from now on, it will be. We need to hear from Congressman Faso on this immediately.”
Greenfield cited some grim statistics that are the daily reality firefighters look beyond in the interest of protecting their communities.
“Deaths and serious injuries from wildfires are increasing every year. Over half of all firefighter deaths are from heart failure due to exertion. And one quarter are from accidents in their personal vehicles driving to, or returning home from incidents. These are among the reasons arson has, until now, been treated as such a serious crime. It is an attack not just on property, not just on life in general, but upon the thin red line that voluntarily places itself between one of nature’s most destructive forces and the lives and property of our communities. That thin red line grows thinner every year due to the movement of employment away from rural areas and small towns, and the reluctance of private employers to release firefighters when our pagers go off. Trump’s callous action, which defies any rational or moral explanation, sends the message that his small number of rabidly anti-government supporters merit formal protection and embrace over those whose lives and property they put at risk when they cross the line from advocacy to terrorism, will make that thin red line thinner still. Putting the safety of firefighters first used to be a universal, non-partisan, no-brainer in this country. But there is no third rail in the American way of life too electrified for Donald Trump to trample — and, in his silence on the matter, for John Faso, either. I call upon Congressman Faso to denounce the Presidential pardon for arsonists in the strongest possible terms, so that the thousands of volunteer firefighters in this district, and our families, can be sure he has our backs. If he can’t do that, he should retire immediately, without even waiting for Election Day.”