Let me take a few minutes to respond to the defense of Mae Beavers in Saturday’s paper. I congratulate the author on a cogent, well-written, but it has a few glaring contradictions.
Trying to argue we are a constitutional republic and not a democracy is akin to my children arguing whether we drive a truck or a Ford truck. It’s an eye-roller. A constitutional republic simply means we don’t have a direct democracy where all 300 million vote on a single issue. Any argument our government doesn’t adhere to democratic values is silly. Were they alive, Jefferson and Madison would roll up their copies of the Federalist papers and hit you with them.
The First Amendment does not inoculate public officials from criticism, and that’s the messy truth for Beavers and her followers. Of course, Beavers has the right to attack anyone she wants, but anyone who has read about how democracies turn into fascist states understands the danger.
The immigration lawyer Beavers branded as “evil” on her Facebook page committed no crime. His job is to help people legally navigate our immigration system, and he enjoys tremendous respect throughout the Midstate. In other words, Beavers didn’t attack the lawyer – she attacked the judicial system. When our elected representatives baselessly attack our institutions, that’s very troubling.
The letter argued Beavers is “constitutionally aware” and suggests this nation should adhere to strict interpretations of the Constitution. Such arguments have been made throughout history, especially in opposition to racial and religious integration. Fortunately, judicial precedent almost always wins. Society progresses whether we like it or not.
Beavers has no credibility when it comes to national security. That went out the window when she lied to constituents in Macon County that she had been briefed on an ISIS plan to infiltrate the South. Rest assured, that lie will be an incredibly difficult obstacle to overcome in her gubernatorial bid.
Saturday’s letter was great. It crystallized the fact Beavers’ career theme has been her constituents’ fear – fear of Muslims, fear of immigrants, but even more so, fear of the future. Fearful people are easy to control provided you can sell them on the fact you’ll keep them safe.
We need elected officials who embrace truth and reject fear – not the other way around.