Letter: Freedom of speech spirit of democracy

To the editor:

I do not have a problem with people disagreeing with me. That is their right under the Constitution that I swore “to support and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

That First Amendment right is the foundation of our survival as a democratic nation. Discrediting free speech and a free press is the first order of business of a would-be tyrant.

When good-intentioned people or foul-minded bullies start pointing fingers at others saying, “that shouldn’t be allowed” they are trampling on the First Amendment. We may not like what somebody is saying or doing, but they may be respecting the Constitution better than us.

Remembering how Hitler came to power is exactly what this nation needs to do. That was one of the most important topics in military history because of how Hitler carefully dismantled the German constitution and separation of powers. His strongest weapon was the propaganda machine that discredited the free press and fostered fear and hate among ordinary people. We have that going on today led by a Bully-in-Chief who was elected by a vocal minority who, for some reason, likes his “style.”

I stand by my previous position, free speech on social issues, no matter how delivered, does not disrespect the military who are sworn to defend the Constitution. It is time to listen to the heart-felt message instead of obsessing about the delivery.

Donald Smith