Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Friday, Dec. 9, 2016

History the great teacher

I am an avid reader of your Opinion pages, the letters, and carefully watch the various television opinion networks. I have noticed an amazing amount of disaster rhetoric from the losing side of the presidential election. From our local liberal spokesman, Frank Gadbois, to columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., they are opining that the election of Donald Trump will mark the end of democracy as we know it and the rise of a fascist state. Obviously history is not one of their strong suits.

I am well in to my seventh decade and can look back to what this country has accomplished and survived. For those who do not read history, in the last 100 years this country has survived: two world wars, a Great Depression, more recessions than we can count, foreign wars that drained and continue to drain our fortunes, our youth and our spirit; a protest movement (Vietnam) that makes the ones today seem like a summer picnic; a “Cold War” that almost lead to a nuclear conflict; a presidential assassination; a presidential resignation; a presidential impeachment; congressional stagnation and natural and man made disasters that would have broken a lesser people.

Through all we have created an industrial and scientific revolution that is the envy of the world. This is in spite of the fact that we are the third most populated country in the world and the most diverse, whether you judge it racially, ethnically, religiously, or utilize another yardstick. Although we are not perfect and have had a few missteps, we have matured as a country and as a people, in spite of a few fringe groups that remain in the past. I predict that at the end of the next four, or eight, years, you will find that we have survived the individual who Pitts referred to as a cross between Darth Vader and Victor Von Doom.

I consider myself a moderate conservative and I, along with millions of others, bit my tongue after the 2008 election. However, we did not fill the streets to protest but sat back and gave President Obama his chance. Now, history will judge whether he lived up to his promises and brought this country forward. Donald Trump is now the president-elect. All I would ask is that we do the same. Stop predicting a fast end to the republic when, based of their prediction of the outcome of the election, they have absolutely no idea what will happen, and see what they can do to help make the country better. Follow JFK’s advice and do what you can for your country. You might just be surprised that it all works out.

J. Hatcher Graham,

Warner Robins

First Amendment protections?

I know everyone has heard the First Amendment to the Constitution repeated many times but have you really looked at and pondered it. As I read it some things stand out to me.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

It says that Congress shall make no law that will prohibit the free exercise of religion. I heard on the news a story about a couple in another state who are in jail because they will not use their artistic talents to make wedding invitations for a gay couple and the judge says they will stay there until they change their views. They said that making the invitations would violate their First Amendment rights. The judge is out of order by making this decision.

Another item in the news is about the burning and stomping of the U.S. flag. The courts say you can do that because it is a form of speech, but I don’t see anywhere in the First Amendment where it talks about actions being a form of speech. What the amendment does say is that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.

This amendment says that people can peaceably assemble. How many times in the past few years have we seen people assembled and it is not peaceful but is a riot with property destroyed and looted? That is not peaceful assemblage and is against the law. Everyone that can be identified as a rioter should be charged and be made to pay for damages to property and stolen items.

Ruby Jacobs,

Dry Branch

Conspiracies abound

So now Trump is in trouble for saying there were “millions” of illegal votes for Hillary. Let’s look at the issue and put a little common sense into it. Leonard Pitts wrote a lengthy article about the recount, and added a lot of commentary about how “terrible” our president-elect is. That’s his opinion, not fact.

Eleven states (not able to verify that figure) issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, with a photo, name, etc. Many are issued, especially in sanctuary cities, to illegal aliens. Don’t know how many, but it certainly disproves Pitt’s version of common sense that most illegal aliens live “off the grid.” They certainly want to be able to drive, and so it is logical that there may be a great number of the estimated 11 million illegal aliens with driver’s licenses. I wish they all had them, to ensure proper oversight of someone’s ability to safely control a vehicle on our roads and streets. True, these licenses have a little note on them about not being valid for “federal purposes” or something like that, but there is still a danger.

That driver’s license, together with a fake SSAN card and number which are widely available on the underground black market, for a hundred bucks or so, could probably get an illegal, non-citizen into a voting booth, especially in a sanctuary city, where the Democratic city authorities refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities anyway. How easy it would be for a Democratic poll worker to issue a voter computer card to such a person, with a “wink wink” failure to observe the little note on the license?

Voter ID and voter fraud have been discussed at length in Georgia politics. It is interesting to note which political party opposes an attempt to make certain that only legal U.S. citizens have the right to vote, and only one vote per individual. Being opposed to that principle almost validates that fraud exists and benefits that party.

If I were king, I’d have the IRS compile a national database of verified U.S. citizen voters, based on Income tax returns. Those filing for earned income credit are motivated by financial reasons, others by penalties for not filing. Those truly living “off the grid” and not contributing to the public treasury, would not be able to vote. Fair, democratic and logical.

Richard L. Jones,

Warner Robins