Letter to the Editor

Paper should have included a disclaimer in GOP ad

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

To the editor,

I was alarmed at seeing the lead-in for an ad paid for by the Bedford County Republican Party: “Does the outright theft of the presidential election by the Democratic party have you Spitting mad”? (Times Gazette, November 14, 2020). This ludicrous assertion has me disappointed and distressed. I am aware that paid political advertising is covered under the first amendment’s freedom of speech; nevertheless, I find it irresponsible for a community newspaper to print such a fabrication without at least a disclaimer. This lie is also an insult to the millions of people (Republicans and Democrats) who exercised their constitutional right to vote in what the Trump administration’s own oversight agency has termed the most secure election ever.

The conspiracy theory that the election was stolen is only one example of those who have blindly and unthinkingly followed Donald Trump through his one-term presidency. Perhaps what should alarm us more than the four-year chaotic, lie-infested administration of Trump is the simple-minded herd mentality of those who follow him. Never mind that his administration was not and would not in the future be in their best interest—for example with affordable health care that covers pre-existing conditions, protection of our environment, or a guaranteed livable wage.

Trump has made America first in only one respect—in the breadth and depth of the still-surging corona virus that has taken the lives of nearly a quarter of a million persons. Given the loyalty of his followers, all he had to say was “wear a mask” but instead he ridiculed masks and those who wear them. Since he is fond of appealing to his Christian followers, he might have reminded them to “love thy neighbor as thyself” because wearing a mask is the best means we have of protecting ourselves and others. But instead Trump savored the adulation of his followers in virus-spreading campaign rallies.

No, the election was not stolen but something else has been taken from us. Many families are missing loved ones today. We are fearful of safely celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends. Countless school children are missing the valuable experience of teacher-student face-to-face learning. Numerous seniors are dying or living out lonely final days in nursing homes without family visits. But Covid 19 is only symptomatic of more fundamental losses. What else has been stolen is the ability of some to think independent of the social media that perpetrates false news and conspiracies. Our national integrity and our international respect are seriously eroded. The lamp of lady liberty has dimmed. We must reignite it!

Joyce Williams,