Letters to the Editor: November 19 – 25, 2020
Learn About Trump Voters, But Don’t Debate Basic Principles
I read with interest and growing disagreement Ms. Adrienne Varner’s letter reprimanding Don Beyer and reminding all of us that the division in this country needs to be healed.
I agree with Ms. Varner that listening to others is a critical first step. I agree also that Falls Church may not have disparate views and that learning about those other views is vital to healing this country.
I disagree with the writer, however, on this central point: To question any U.S. citizen when he or she disparages others, characterizes them as objects or less human or less deserving of the rights and opportunities that this country’s most profound documents espouse and entitle all men and women — is the right thing to do. In fact, it probably should be a requirement of good citizenry to object and to condemn such words or actions when they occur.
Unquestionably, there are reasons why so many voters cast their ballots for Donald Trump. We should and we will, I believe, learn more about those motivations. But to focus, as Don Beyer did, on the words and actions of the now-defeated president is to serve notice that we cannot and should not forget that Trump’s words and actions were wrong, unacceptable, and condemnable. In fact, Congressman Beyer’s words are based on facts and are true — two things which were tragically absent in this administration and among too many other elected officials.
In summary, we need to know why more than 70 million U.S. citizens voted for the man who currently refuses to acknowledge the verdict of the people. To do that, we must look honestly and candidly at the violations, in word and in deed, that threatened the rights sought and fought for in the Civil Rights and Suffragists movements. The necessary dialogue must begin with recognition that those basic principles — justice, freedom, equality for all citizens regardless of race, creed, or gender — are not questionable or debatable. Once that is understood, a meaningful dialogue can begin.
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