Editor, Times-Union:

How appalling, how abhorrent, how scary that today it is now acceptably normal to express opposition, anger and disagreement through intimidation, threats of violence and actual violence. The spewing of hatred and intolerance is now the language of choice; fists and guns are now the tools for meting out “justice” or settling disputes — on the spot — in the heat of the moment. Thugs and stalkers have become self-proclaimed judges, juries, and executioners with the blessings and encouragement of their more cowardly political idols.

The Pandora’s box of the aforementioned evils was unlocked and shattered by none other than the liar-in-chief, the wannabe king, the power hungry, delusional sociopath who occupied the People’s house for four years. Permission to ignore all rules of decency, empathy, and civility was not only extended to the masses but it was also demonstrated at every opportunity. The rules of law became merely suggestions to be followed when they did not interfere with personal goals. Oppression and discrimination are not only becoming more present today, but are actually being proposed in new legislation. Adding fuel to that fire are the media personalities who actually promote and provoke the hate, the lies, the misinformation and even the violence.

Is anybody still teaching their children to lose with grace? To shake their opponents’ hands and congratulate the winners? To say they are sorry when they hurt someone’s feelings? To face and accept the consequences of their wrongful deeds or hurtful actions? Are they being taught to treat everyone with respect regardless of their color, background, or economic status? Are they being taught they are no better than anyone else? Do they understand the importance/necessity of helping the less fortunate rather than berating or belittling them? Aren’t all of these life lessons just common sense and reasonable? I cannot for the life of me understand why it has become the norm to verbally and even physically threaten anyone’s life for exercising their right to disagree with or call out the powers that be. Why is it all right for political leaders to unilaterally “punish” or bully businesses for expressing opinions regarding the enactment of suppressive and restrictive human rights laws? Why is it tolerated when people have their lives threatened for just doing their jobs (like election poll workers)?

I hope all this nastiness, this loud screeching and evil fist pounding and chest thumping ends soon. It has to, or we will one day wake up and realize we have devolved into a primeval version of humanity. Democracy will merely be a distant memory of the elders and maybe a word in a dictionary — if that would even be allowed.

Jeanne Schutz

Winona Lake