LETTER — We can again become a leader of hope

Published 4:20 pm Friday, October 30, 2020

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To the Editor:

On my way home last week, I slowed down a bit to glance at a yard sign that had been on display for several weeks. On the front of the bright blue sign demarcating “Biden-Harris, Warner, Webb,” someone had scrawled something in ugly red and splotchy spray paint. It read “TRUMP 2020.” The red paint dripped in jaggedly formed letters as if someone had defaced this piece of property in a hurry. I’d like to think they rushed out of some level of underlying shame, but perhaps it was instead only out of fear of retribution.

As I continued my drive, one question kept festering in my mind. How hard is it to express a political opinion respectfully?

What if you had requested a Trump 2020 yard sign of your own, or joined a Republican Party phone bank calling voters for support. Why destroy a Democratic yard sign, when there are plenty of far more productive outlets to get out the vote for Trump?

Yet this is exactly what the current administration and GOP promote, unproductive violence and division over any real effort for change. With the president himself unwilling to condemn violent white supremacist groups that attempted to kidnap a United States governor, not to mention those that killed a woman right in our own backyard of Charlottesville, can we expect more from our nation’s citizens?

We must expect more. Our nation has come to the point where we must expect more from our citizens than from our president incumbent –  more honesty, dignity, compassion, responsibility. The list goes on. We need our citizens to do their own research, and to not take the president’s lies and wild accusations at face value.

We need our citizens to take the productive approach towards real change, not the violent, divisive one. Otherwise our nation will continue to splinter, alienating American citizens who don’t conform to a certain race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or political belief. Otherwise, we may give up many of our inherent rights as citizens of the United States for good.

The next day on my drive home, there stood a smaller, newer sign in front of the defaced property. “Restore Dignity: Biden-Harris 2020” shone through in front of the dripping red spray paint. Through November 3, we have the power to change the face of our nation.

We can once again become a leader of hope, collaboration, and positive change, but to do so we must hold our administration and our citizens accountable. We are a democracy and we the people of the United States of America know what’s at stake when we elect a president. Whether you’d rather continue down a path of divisiveness and hatred or restore dignity and hope to our nation, the productive way forward is clear, vote.

Katie Waters