From: Holly Karr
I would like to make a few comments on the recent letter from Ms. Sherry Grimes.
Ms. Grimes speaks of those who voted for Donald Trump as a “silent majority.” I believe that to be a misstatement. While many who voted for Mr. Trump may have been historically silent, I believe it is incorrect to characterize them as a “majority.” In fact, Hillary Clinton has received 2 million votes more than Mr. Trump, with that total still increasing. Despite the inability of that vote total to elect Clinton to the presidency based on current constitutional law, her supporters are clearly the majority of the electorate.
Further, were we to add in the votes cast for the Libertarian and Green Party candidates to her “anti-Trump faction,” the total number of the electorate that chose not to support the election of Mr. Trump over the number that did is closer to 7.5 million Americans.
I also believe her characterization of the protests since the election to be a significant exaggeration. Given the large number of people who marched, many tens of thousands by press accounts, reports were of “largely peaceful” protests, and unlawful incidents within or alongside those protests relatively few. Simultaneously, there were reports locally of innocent children being bullied in schools due to their minority status and churches being vandalized, and those reports were echoed numerous times across the nation. These incidents were attributed to the Trump faction and the vitriolic and divisive rhetoric of the Trump campaign.
Ms. Grimes claims that those she speaks for “revere the constitution.” The First Amendment guarantees the right of people to assemble and protest, and to make their voices heard. Hopefully then, they will respect the constitutional rights of the majority of the American electorate to protest and voice their dissatisfaction with the policies and decisions of the Trump administration.
Ms. Grimes further claims that “conservatives'” First Amendment protection to freedom of speech has somehow been lost, as demonstrated in their inability to say “Merry Christmas” and “I don’t agree with you” “without fear of backlash.” While I cannot comment on any personal fear that conservatives may feel, I believe that protection under the Constitution still is alive and well for voicing these and other opinions. As a practicing Christian I regularly wish friends, neighbors and others “Merry Christmas,” unless, of course, I know that their belief system does not include Christmas, and then I wish them “Happy Holidays,” so as not to offend. I am also not fearful of telling Ms. Grimes or others, on a regular basis, that “I do not agree with you,” as I believe I am doing with this letter, and have never had fear of backlash in either case.
It does appear that we may be in for a long four years, but, in the meantime, merry Christmas, or, happy holidays if you prefer!