Vigliotti free speech column misses mark
Joe Vigliotti’s Jan. 15 editorial, “Dangerous Social Media Bans our Right to Free Speech” was a sanctimonious, disingenuous, and duplicitous attack on social media companies for pulling the plug on Donald Trump’s dangerous, incendiary, as well as infantile Twitter tirades.
Vigliotti preaches to us that communication is critical for “wisdom, knowledge, ideas, and justice.” There is no wisdom or knowledge in Trump’s espousing nonsensical conspiracy theories about a “faked” election, alleged COVID hoaxes, among innumerable other loony lies.
Effective communication has to start with telling the honest truth.
Vigliotti asserts that “reason has been trampled by ignorance,” by social media companies. He’s really describing the root cause of the failed Trump Insurrection of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Vigliotti’s allegation that Trump has been “silenced” by social media is nothing more than whining. Unlike anyone else on the planet, a U.S. president can snap his fingers at a moment’s notice and give a live televised address to the nation.
A courageous president would have done this a few hours after the deadly Capitol rampage. Instead, it took a week for Trump to put out a canned video message condemning his mob’s violence at the Capitol. He read a prepackaged speech with the sincerity of a hostage under duress making a recorded statement.
What’s more, Trump’s cowardice has kept him from traditional communication through White House press conferences.
Like dictators before him, Trump viciously undercuts the First Amendment rights of the free speech of the press as “fake news.” This attempted stranglehold on “the truth” defines an authoritarian. And, the way to cut off oxygen to violent zealot cultists is to silence and isolate their messianic leader.
“In 1978 a whole bunch of people followed Jim Jones down to Guiana,” said Albert Watkins, a defense lawyer for one of the Capitol insurgents who’s going on trial. “The only difference here is that there’s no Kool-Aid.”
Life outside womb not precious to Trump & Co.
Along with the rest of the nation I watched in HORROR the attack on our Capital on Jan. 6 at the behest of Donald J Trump. Five people died and there were threats to the lives of Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. No remorse from the president has been forthcoming.
This is the same administration along with evangelical Christians who express their desire to overturn Roe v Wade because life is so precious. Clearly their actions and rhetoric make it clear they only value life in the womb and not after birth considering the following:
· We have seen children separated from their parents at the border and it is not clear if it is possible to ever re-unite them with their parents. These children have been traumatized for life.
· We are watching in horror the daily death toll of up to 4,000 dying from the coronavirus while the Trump administration does not engage in taking necessary precautions against spreading the virus. They have been AWOL for months now.
· When there are Black Lives Matter protests Trump is heard saying, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The shooting started on a peaceful protest so he could have a photo op holding up a Bible.
· We heard him explicitly telling his followers to storm the Capital, AND, that he would be there with them. They did exactly that and five people lost their lives. He, like a coward, did not join them. Instead, he watched, and signaled his approval.
· During this pandemic there are families who have lost jobs, that face eviction because they cannot pay the rent, who do not even have enough money for food and yet the Republicans have been very reluctant to release funds that would give aid to these families. Why would any of them want to bring another life into the family?
I still await the day when life after birth for those with deformities, who are Black, who are immigrants, who are Muslim et al, are treated with respect and dignity.
Patricia Roop Hollinger
Eagle project showed commitment to values
Thank you for honoring Patrick Tureck’s Boy Scouts of America Eagle project in the Life and Times section on Jan. 10. If there is ever a time to honor extending oneself for the benefit of others and a commitment to long-standing values, now is the time. Coincidentally, the honor occurred on the day his 18th birthday was celebrated. Thank you!