To the Editor:
Two recent local news stories have illuminated a growing problem in society: the cancelation of a person’s entire good life due to an unguarded comment or some affiliation, even one purported by some to be dangerous.
There is a great observation that “the speech worth fighting for is the one you abhor.” Also, “the remedy for bad speech is more speech.” Power will belong to the persons judging what speech is bad. And who dares to designate that judge? In a free society, the only judge must be the “common man” who is allowed to hear all speech.
The stories of the undersheriff of Orange County, Kenneth Jones, and our local former town council member and volunteer, Scott Olson, are similar stories at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Both speak of the intolerance toward differing opinions. These stories are also alike in that the two men both have dedicated their lives, knowledge, and energies to public service and are having those lives eviscerated by accusations that become headlines.
This week we look back on the lives of Washington and Lincoln, two imperfect human beings who nevertheless put their lives on the line to insure our free society. History today attempts to belittle their contributions due to yet undeveloped attitudes and Ideas of the times in which they lived. I long now to see a leniency toward each other and perhaps a new kind of press that can explore facts without sordid headlines that destroy a person and wipe out their history of honor.