Silencing the opposition is not the answer

Published 3:59 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I was greatly disturbed by a letter to the editor in the May 5 edition that called into question the journalistic integrity of the Tryon Daily Bulletin. It is within the proud and traditional purview of any news publication (whether large or small) to print letters to the editor written from any viewpoint.

While one person may consider such a letter a “diatribe,” many other people may think otherwise. Speaking out and/or disagreeing with any administration or political figure is not “hate,” nor is it “vile.”

Even the most vehement disagreement or critical dissent does not correspond to hatred or indecency. A free press is the linchpin of our democratic republic, and it is my most sincere hope that we are never without it.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Further, I have never seen or heard Maryneal Jones speak about anyone or anything with hatred. She’s an educated, intelligent, observant, and talented woman.

As for her claim that many others in this area agree with her position/s, I can verify that. I’ve only lived in Tryon for a little over four years, but in that time, I have met, and am acquainted with many here that strenuously object to what is happening in Washington D.C. at this time. There are, in fact, so many things that are wrong, it’s easy to lose track. Of course, the most recent demonstration is the passing of H.R.1275 – World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017. Yes, you read that right. That is actually the title they had the audacity to name this piece of legislation that will (if it passes in the Senate) leave millions of people without any viable access to health insurance or affordable health care.

In any case, silencing the opposition or resistance is not the answer, not in this country – at least, not yet.

If anything, we need even more of our citizenry to be knowledgeable, involved, and vocal about what is happening in not only the current administration in Washington D.C., but in every local government, as well.

The letter that sparked this response brought to mind a quote by Theodore Roosevelt: “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country.”

It is our duty, as citizens of this country to take a stand for what is right, and a stand against what is wrong. I don’t believe there’s been a time in our recent history when that was more truly the case.

Susan Currier Johann

Tryon, N.C.