Vail Daily letter: Sorry for cutting Trump signs
October 31, 2016
I cut two Trump signs at the CMC Edwards campus, and it felt good. But not all that feels right is right. This is the third draft of this letter, in which I (as instructed) am going to try to not insert my feelings about the GOP candidate, though I imagine you, reader, can discern what they are. I truly hope I get it right this time because I have finally come to terms with the fact that what I did was wrong.
I am not going to act like I hate myself for it, because that would be dishonest, but I am going to say I am sorry. Because I am. This situation has been hard on my family, and I am sorry that they have to see me go through this, and worse, see that I have violated an understanding person's free speech. I would also like to thank the chair of Eagle County Republican Party Kaye Ferry and Bill Douglas for seeing this as an opportunity. An opportunity to make amends and send a message. Rather than calling the police, they decided a better choice would be to meet with me and find a civil way to put this behind us, and I am very grateful that there are those kind of people in this valley, and the luck that came with this situation involving them and not someone else. I am glad that we live in a society in which people are willing to appreciate and converse about differing ideas. As a result of the meeting I had with Kaye and Bill, I have been asked to do three things. Write this letter, pay for the signs, and wave Trump campaign signs with a few supporters in order to make amends for cutting the signs that night at CMC.
I hope you will all see that doing what I did is wrong, and illegal. It is shutting down someone's free speech and that is wrong on many levels. I am sorry for those of you who have been a victim of this act, and I discourage anyone and everyone from doing what I did, because it is wrong. As Kaye told me, it is a democracy after all, and rather than building walls in between our ability to discuss and think freely without having to be afraid that some rude teenager will destroy your property, we should rather become more involved in the political process, which includes tolerance other people's beliefs.
I learned and now hold this truth, that our democracy is no longer truly a democracy if other citizens' free speech is shut down. Cutting down someone's campaign signs is shutting down free speech, it's not just a cute little act of rebelliousness, so don't do it. I am so sorry. Tolerance is something that we could all benefit and learn from, and I am sorry that I have been intolerant of what many people identify with, and I apologize for my past intolerance, I apologize to you, the people, and I hope that we can move this country forward, in whatever way that is.
Luis Juarez Ramos
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