Letter about we are known by the company we keep!…
To the Editor,
A decade ago, my wife and I chose Chatfield as our retirement home. We had enjoyed the area as a recreational and business destination since moving from Canada in 1978. Here we found that residents and business owners were polite, intelligent, and fair-minded people of integrity.
A few months ago, a new billboard appeared alongside US Highway 52 traversing our beloved “Chosen Valley.” One side of the sign presented a political simile revealing the sign-maker’s fascination with bodily functions. The other side of the sign urged residents who had voted for Biden to reveal their political sympathies with yard signs. Was this an implied threat? This sign is only one of the political messages presented nearby. Other billboards have displayed contentious messages mocking “Black Lives Matter” and making accusatory allusions to immigrants. What is intended when an image of an assault rifle is placed in juxtaposition with a statement that “black rifles matter” and the “2nd Amendment Matters”?
In Wisconsin, the Rittenhouse debacle showed the lethal results of an immature mind displaying an assault rifle to a street crowd protesting police violence. Do these billboards champion 1st and 2nd amendments? These messages do not reflect a polite, intelligent, and fair-minded community, rather, they suggest that the traveler is descending into an abyss of bigotry and hatred, unrestrained by reason or respect for elected officials, or for opinions contrary to those of the sign-maker. They don’t celebrate the freedom of speech, but pervert the most meaningful civil rights that define our democracy. Freedoms obligate us to use them wisely, respecting the rights of others.
During the upcoming mid-term elections, let us foster open debate, embrace diverse opinions, honor truth, and seek freedom for all.