Readers Write

Senators need to meaningfully condemn violent threats

I share Gabriel Sterling’s anger about the attacks and threats aimed at election workers, and I commend him for calling out senators Loeffler and Perdue for failing to try to lower the heat. The senators have responded by giving lip service to condemning violence while changing not one iota of the rhetoric fanning the flames. Still, Sterling stated he would support them in the voting booth. Until there are real consequences for being complicit in this type of behavior – that is, “No” votes – it will continue and escalate. It’s time to put ethics before party, truth before party and most of all, country before party. I believe Mr. Sterling is right; if this continues, there will be a death. I fear it will be democracy.


Liberal totalitarianism can be deceptively appealing

Fascists are often characterized as jack-booted thugs marching with torches to a book burning, but there is a more nuanced view of fascism. Measures taken by fascist regimes in the past include the confiscation of firearms from citizens; state control of the judicial system as a tool for increasing power; nationalization of key industries; effective use of mass media to distribute propaganda that extols only the virtues of the state; censorship and control of art, culture and opposing viewpoints; creation of truth and reconciliation committees to punish the opposition; marginalization of religion to serve at the discretion of the state; and destruction of symbols of the past while rewriting history to support a narrative the regime considers useful. The moral here is clear: Be careful what you wish for; it may result in a malign and divisive future.


Refusal to wear face masks warrants consequences

“Conscientious objection” is a phrase we have returned to more and more frequently in our household, especially in these contentious times. It helps us locate our support or reservations about protests of different kinds. Peaceful protest or civil disobedience that acknowledges there are consequences for going in good conscience against the law both feel like essential tools in any responsive democracy, which depends for its health and honesty on citizen participation. However, protests that assume one group’s rights override the rights of others are a different matter — whether that is destroying property, making physical or verbal threats of violence, or refusing to wear a mask in a time of pandemic. What if those who refuse to wear masks did so conscientiously accepting the direct personal consequences of this choice by legally foregoing all rights to pandemic-related health care, as our health resources are limited and the need for them is growing exponentially every day?


Runoff debates not answering important questions

Why do we continue to have so-called debates between senatorial candidates when nothing is actually debated? Sen. Loeffler sounded like a prerecorded soundtrack with repetitive accusations about the Rev. Warnock, while providing no evidence to back her claims or any plans for dealing with the huge problems facing our country. Her refusal to answer simple questions frustrated everyone. Even the Rev. Warnock was not very forthcoming. In both cases, they hemmed and hawed when a simple “yes” or “no” would have been far more informative. Meanwhile, Sen. Perdue was a no-show in his debate with Jon Ossoff, knowing full well he would be demolished in any exchange of facts and ideas. While he has no relation to the chicken company of the same name, the label “Chicken Perdue” aptly applies.