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Letter to the Editor: It’s time for all to unite for good

Staff Reports • Updated Feb 28, 2017 at 4:15 PM

To the Editor:        

It is time for all of us to sit down, take a deep breath and realize that we are all going to have to live together and cease this petty and malicious bickering against each other. It is destructive not only to our country, but also to each other. There is enough blame to go around. It is human nature to respond in kind. I know that I have been guilty at times.

There are good examples around the country on the news and on social media of people, organized and individually, acting like a bunch of children having a temper tantrum. Maybe I should apologize to the children for the adults as the children may not act that badly. There is simply no excuse to prevent Sen. Mae Beavers or Rep. Mark Pody from having their say, regardless of how outrageous their proposals are. That is not the point. The point is that they have a right to present their proposals, just as you do, under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The reactions of the legislatures across the country are ridiculous, as well. A proposal in Arizona proposes to seize the assets of demonstrators. Though I am not a constitutional attorney, I would opine that this is a violation of the First Amendment. The legislation to not hold a motorist who hits a demonstrator is no more than an attempt to intimidate demonstrators.

To our elected officials, listen to your constituents and to demonstrators who are acting civilly. You just might learn something. A common charge of elected officials is that demonstrators are acting from outside sources to avoid their responsibility to listen. After a town meeting in Fairview, Congresswoman Marcia Blackburn told CNN that the people raising their voices were not her constituents. The mayor of Fairview immediately rebutted this by saying he had spoken with the attendees, and they were indeed Blackburn’s constituents.

Finally, our president seems bent on discrediting the media, “The Enemy of the People.” Quite the contrary, Mr. President, the media are the protector of the people from tyranny. I grant you that media outlets do indeed put a slant on the news in some cases, more by not including all the facts in each incident, which will slant the viewers’ opinion. However, generally they do a fair job in coverage of events, though I think it would benefit all of us if they covered some issues, which may not suit their corporate sponsors. Fake news, on the other hand, is when a source takes an incident that may very well have happened and embellishes with supporting evidence that does not in fact exist. The internet is full of this junk, and it is sad that much of it is believed at face value. I know that it is often difficult to separate the truth from the chaff, but that is something we must do as citizens.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is under attack. If we lose the constitutional protections that were guaranteed by our forefathers, we will literally have nothing.

Amendment I says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Frank C. Newbell

Lebanon

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