Letter to the editor: Preserving truth and democracy

Published 1:23 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

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To the editor:

There is a phrase often used at weddings which provides the opportunity for any attendee who objects to the marriage to “speak now or forever hold your peace.” There is also an oath that must be sworn to (or affirmed) by witnesses in courtroom proceedings.  The witness’s testimony is to be “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.”

There are numerous scriptures in the Holy Bible that speak about truth.  Here are a few:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” I John 1:8

“The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy.”  Proverbs 12:22

Jesus told Pilate in John 18: 37-38 that He was born to testify to the truth.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

Unfortunately, our country is now far from being free.  Many kind and loving people – including family, friends, and foes- have become caught up in an endless web of falsehoods, misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, hoaxes, alternative facts (first used by Kellyanne Conway on Jan. 22, 2017), fake news, and just plain lies. It comes as no surprise that millions of U.S. citizens have become indoctrinated and believe these lies.  onsider the staggering number of 30,573 false or misleading claims made by Trump during his White House tenure (Washington Post May 19, 2017). The terrifying question is this.. does Trump’s recent declaration of being dictator only on day one in reality mean until he dies?

Many individuals have chosen to reject an abundance of evidence of past misdeeds by our nation’s leaders, evidence which can be seen and heard in various forms of media. Since 2016 the truth has become so tarnished that it is difficult to any longer discern what is and is not the truth.

On a historical note, Adolf Hitler had a Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. My prayer is that America does not go down that path, although we seem to already have one foot on it.  The documentary, “Unfit”, which was produced in 2020 and can still be viewed on the internet, tells of a past GOP leader who studied Hitler’s speeches to get tips on making his own more effective. Even the 2 ½ minute trailer is a reality check. Another enlightening documentary is Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) by Michael Moore. The films may be dated; but unfortunately, the situations the documentaries address are worse today.

Many former Trump advisors courageously sought to present the truth to citizens and leaders.  For this they were derided, mocked, belittled, and ultimately unemployed. That was a heavy price to pay. As a result, our nation lost the benefit of these professionals’ wisdom, talent, honesty, and service.

I have told numerous friends and loved ones that I want to keep an open mind regarding political matters. Our lives depend on the decisions our leaders make. Who can best serve the needs of our communities, state, and country? I was frustrated in the last primary whenever I was unable to vote for county commissioners, school board members, and the sheriff. An election worker wisely suggested that if I became unaffiliated on my registration, I could vote for any party during the primaries. I did just that. Voting for one party in the primaries will not affect anyone’s ability to vote for any party in November.

In NC, the last day to register unaffiliated for this year’s primary is this Friday, Feb. 9. Consider that if every unaffiliated voter cast a ballot for Nikki Haley, the presidential candidate who has not caused chaos, nor been accused of any legal wrongdoing, and is refreshingly younger than Donald Trump (77) and  Joe Biden (81), then a potential dictatorship in America could be diverted. Although Nikki Haley is being ruled out early on, she is the safer, saner choice for president.

Future debates between candidates who are willing to debate, town halls, interviews, and more, can ultimately aid Americans in making the right leadership choices locally, statewide, and nationally. This same GOP ballot also provides the opportunity to vote against a dangerous gubernatorial candidate who is known for his antisemitic comments. Republicans continue to be the only people in Davie County able to vote for county commissioners and school board members. These positions in government should be nonpartisan.

Another suggestion is to vote early beginning Feb. 15 and before March 5.  Poll watchers will not have the opportunity to intimidate individuals. Also, directions for submitting absentee ballots can be found online. However, be aware of some changes.

Sadly, domestically, our country is experiencing the most turbulent, hate-filled, troublesome times that I have seen in my lifetime. My prayer is for God’s wisdom to guide our country to become more loving, empathetic, kind, and caring. From America’s founders to the leaders of today and all the years in between, tremendous sacrifices have been made to preserve our nation’s freedoms.  May we never lose our freedoms due to the reckless actions and untruths spoken by one very bitter, tyrannical individual.

Glenda Smith