Setting the record straight
Published 9:19 pm Sunday, January 24, 2021
Letter to the Editor
A recent letter to the editor from Joanne Midyette mischaracterized my recent communication to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I normally wouldn’t risk a back-and-forth by responding, but in this case, the misinformation is serious enough that I will not let it pass.
In her letter, Ms. Midyette describes “the letter that was written by Mr. Millard (on behalf of the Polk County Democratic Party) demanding the expulsion of Madison Cawthorn from the seat he fairly won in the November 3 election.”
My letter to Speaker Pelosi said no such thing.
Here’s what it did say:
“The Polk County Democratic Party urges you to initiate an investigation into Mr. Cawthorn’s actions and, if sufficient grounds are found, to expel him as a Member of the United States House of Representatives.”
Those were my words, and the Bulletin reported them accurately.
I urged investigation; I did not demand expulsion. Those are two very different things. I’d also submit that a deadly seditious riot is not the same as a middle school football game, but that’s another matter.
Let me be clear: I do not suggest that Ms. Midyette intentionally twisted my words; I’m sure it was an honest mistake.
In his inaugural address, President Biden said, “We must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.” It’s important to correct the record, even when it’s an honest mistake.
Ms. Midyette poses a question in her letter: “Can you see where I’m coming from?” It’s a fair question. As President Biden said, we must all be “willing to stand in the other person’s shoes, as my mom would say. Just for a moment, stand in their shoes.”
All of us, myself included, can make a better effort to see where others are coming from. It will help if we’re operating from the same set of facts.