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The Readers’ Forum

The Readers' Forum: Saturday letters

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Radical opponents

A week after Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised that “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” Now a Republican candidate for governor of Arizona is asked if she would honor the results of the upcoming election there. With a creepy smile much like Pompeo’s, she responds repeatedly: “I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result.”

The Republican leadership of our N.C. legislature is bringing a lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court contending that their gerrymandered state legislature can essentially override the outcome of elections here. Their new “independent state legislature theory” would upend the constitutional order as practiced during the entire history of our republic.

Rep. Ted Budd, current N.C. candidate for U.S. Senate, voted not to uphold the 2020 presidential election results, though in Trump’s numerous lawsuits no evidence was found that the lawful Electoral College vote should not be honored. Budd’s vote occurred immediately after the violent disruption of the election ratification on Jan. 6, 2021, and represents a legislative version of that effort to thwart the will of American voters.

People who operate this way do not accept the basic premise of an election — in fact, they do not accept the American constitutional order. They are not conservatives in any sense of the word. They are radical opponents of everything that America stands for. I cannot fathom how any American could vote for them.

Kevin Lawrence


A good teacher

I wish the newspapers would come back to life like we had growing up.

They were easier to read. You did not have to sit in front of a computer. You could take it with you anywhere and read it. You could buy one at the newsstand. Our teachers would have them in school. Some teachers would read through them and the student would learn the different sections in the paper.

I had a good teacher in the seventh grade, Mr. Scales. He was one of my favorite teachers, and he went through most of the articles so we could understand them. It was easier to have the newspaper in hand than online.

Maybe one day the newspaper will come back, and this time it will be better and stronger.

James Fleming


Single-party rule

The two judicial races for the N.C. Supreme Court are arguably the most likely to impact our day-to-day quality of life.

Four Democratic and three Republican judges constitute the current N.C. Supreme Court. The Democratic majority has served as a check on the Republican-led legislature. Now, two seats on the court held by Democrats are on the ballot.

Races for the N.C. Supreme Court are partisan. For example, a Republican candidate, Trey Allen, has compared his judicial philosophy to that of Clarence Thomas, a right-wing federal justice who voted to destroy reproductive freedom.

This year, the Democratic-led court majority blocked the Republican-majority legislature’s gerrymandered maps on the grounds that they violated the N.C. Constitution. Gerrymandering creates voting districts that disproportionately favor the majority party. With gerrymandered districts, politicians pick their voters instead of voters picking their political leaders.

If even one of the two contested seats on the N.C. Supreme Court is won by a Republican, there will be no check on the legislature.

What will happen if the Republicans achieve unchecked power? They will attack public education, eliminate legal abortion, weaken voting rights, diminish access to health care and further support the fossil fuel industry.

A Republican Supreme Court guarantees partisan gerrymandering, leading to permanent Republican control of the legislature.

When politicians are uncontested, they have no reason to vote in the public interest and typically do not. If Republican ambitions are not checked, North Carolina is headed toward single-party autocracy, like China or Russia.

Peter Gal


Our society of hate

Who’s to blame? Many blame former President Trump and Trumpism. However, hate has been festering in America since its origin.

We all saw extreme hate with the election of President Obama. In the 1990s, hate exploded with the opposition to President Clinton, and the start of vile attacks against politicians. Looking back into our history, hate was prevalent even at the start of our nation, toward Native Americans, the slaves, progressing to the immigrants (Irish, Germans, Spanish, etc.). In current times, sadly, hate infiltrates all aspects of our lives, our schools, churches and politics, becoming dangerous at times.

What can we do? The beloved William Shatner writes in his new book, “Boldly Go,” that the world would be so much kinder if we all had just an ounce of humanity.

Also, be smart in your selection of candidates you vote for. Avoid haters!

Kathleen Diana


Bad news

The new comics page is just terrible. No “Dennis the Menace,” no “Zits,” no “Blondie,” “Hagar the Horrible,” “Beetle Bailey” or his sister Lois with Hi.

With all the bad news created by the leaders in Washington, D.C., like over 8% inflation, $4 gas and excess crime in the big cities — plus open borders that allow not only illegal immigrants but also millions of dollars of cartel drugs like fentanyl to come across and kill our youngsters by drug overdoses — we need some of the great comic strips to help lighten our day a bit.

As the fearless leader of the free world would say, three words: “Come on, man!”

John Nelms



For years, we have been well-served by Dan Besse on the Winston-Salem City Council. He did that job thoughtfully and believed in finding the best paths to take in local government. He was responsive to his constituents and keep us informed on the workings of all the departments at City Hall. I am certain he will take these talents to his next elected position.

Dan is running for an at-large seat of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. Please remember to vote Besse on Nov. 8. We need Dan!

Mark Moir


Humane dialogue

We all want our children to recover from pandemic losses and thrive in this uncertain world, and we need strong leadership on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board to make that happen.

As a parent of three students in Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, I know we need experienced educators and leaders like Richard Watts, Deanna Kaplan and Sabrina Coone-Godfrey, who have proven track records for supporting children and teachers, not candidates whose platforms use language espoused by outside extremist groups that use scare tactics to target our most vulnerable groups.

North Carolina public education has earned a national reputation for its excellence. An indispensable element of that achievement has been the value it places on equipping students to engage meaningfully with the diverse world they are inheriting. Policing what teachers teach will only increase the distance between what students know and the reality of the society they will be called upon to navigate and shape. Encouraging informed opinions and thoughtful discourse should be a universally held position, whatever your political leaning.

A vote for the three at-large school board candidates Richard Watts, Deanna Kaplan and Sabrina Coone-Godfrey is a vote for humane dialogue and practical solutions.

Laura Smyth


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