Elect those who will unite us

Published 5:08 pm Sunday, August 10, 2014

To the editor:
Much has been said about the July 4 festivities. It seems to me that the dunking booth is somewhat of a non-starter; folks on both sides of the aisle have taken childish pleasure in portraying the opposition’s sitting President with disrespect. No problem, since we as a society have become disrespectful to anyone who does not share our own cherished beliefs, whatever they may be.
But I remain deeply disturbed by the tee shirts portraying large guns with the words, “Liberals Suck.” This goes way beyond disrespect and edges up to a line that we really do not need to cross. When did we become so hateful that we needed to subliminally invoke violence to those with whom we disagree? And make no mistake, portraying a gun in this fashion links “liberals” with “gun” in many minds.
The fact that the Republican Party and the Commissioner Majority did not immediately stand up, or even stand up at all, and say, “this is wrong” sets off alarm bells. It does not matter whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian or the Wicked Witch of the West; surely we can agree to disagree without resorting to depicting violence against anyone.
When I was growing up in Greenville, S.C., my parents certainly did not agree with the political and religious views of every single friend, neighbor, or co-worker, but I do not remember anyone being ugly or disrespectful about it. We are all different, and that is part of what makes America so great. To even think of using violence against someone else because they don’t agree with you is just wrong.
And for those who think this was funny, or that it’s just a tee shirt and really doesn’t matter, well, I disagree.
I think that we as a community can do better than this. I think we need to vote for people who want to work for everyone in the community and who will stand up for what is right, no matter what political party they represent.
In the words of President John F. Kennedy, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
It is time for our community to stand up and accept responsibility for our actions. I ask you to stand against anyone who advocates violence as a solution. I ask you to vote for those who stand against hatred and divisiveness, no matter what political party they represent. We the people need to vote for those who will unite us, all of us, into a stronger, better community.

-Paula Mullenax, Tryon

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