You may or may not know this, but I have spent the last 16+ years working in the news industry. I started out as a reporter and have done just about every job you can imagine at various newspapers and news outlets around the globe. I’m currently employed by Gannett, one of the largest media outlets in North America. Though I work from home, my home newspaper is The Arizona Republic where I have an office and visit on a semi-regular basis. This week, for the first time in the newspaper’s 126 year history, it endorsed a democrat for President of the United States of America. Since that endorsement was announced, the newspaper and its editorial board have received death threats. Seriously, that’s not a typo … they received death threats for sharing their opinion. Not your opinion. Not my opinion. But the opinion of a group of smart, thoughtful opinion writers and editors. That’s their job. They formulate opinions and share them with their readers.
Do you know any of these writers, editors, journalists that you make disparaging comments about? Probably not. Well, I do. They are hardworking, well-educated and thoughtful citizens. They love and support the communities they live in. And they are committed to telling the truth about whatever story they are covering. Despite what you think, they aren’t liberal and biased. They are truth tellers performing a job vital to our democracy.
You don’t have to listen to them. You don’t have to read their words. You don’t have to agree. But they're working to inform the public and make you think. Those are all good things. And they don’t deserve to have their lives threatened because of this.
The last time I posted anything remotely political, I regretted it. However, I feel like staying silent about what I think and believe is cowardly. People should not be scared to share their ideas or opinions, even if others disagree. Hurling hateful words or making death threats to people who you disagree with is unacceptable and in my opinion, anti-American. Maybe instead of yelling and screaming at each other; calling people horrible names; or making death threats ... you just vote? Your vote speaks louder than words. Just vote. Quit yelling or cutting people down. Just vote.
I stand with the Arizona Republic, the First Amendment and respectful dialogue.