Vail Daily letter: Disturbing deal
November 3, 2016
Luis Ramos letter (Tuesday's Vail Daily) expressing his regret for cutting Trump signs is for the most part a reasonable response to what most would agree was an unfortunate incident that should not have taken place. Expressions of political diversity are, after all, what an election and democracy are all about, but they must be respectfully carried out in a lawful and civil manner. For the most part, I would compliment all parties on how this situation was resolved. I don't like Trump, but I certainly don't condone vandalism as a means of social discourse.
However, I find one part of the solution to be very disturbing. Mr. Ramos states that as part of his agreement with Kaye Ferry and Bill Douglas and the local Republican Party to avoid prosecution, he was asked to wave Trump campaign signs with other supporters. Seriously? Is this how the Republican Party wishes to deal with those who oppose them, make a stupid mistake and get busted doing so?
Is the plan to rally supporters involve cutting deals with those who face criminal charges by letting it go if they wave the flag offered to them? This smacks of conscription of supporters and makes the entire process seem incredibly disingenuous. It brings to mind news reels we have all seen of political rallies in North Korea, China and Nazi Germany where citizens with smiles that appear to have been stenciled on their faces wave the flag in support of a political party they clearly do not support.
Paying for the damage, publicly apologizing and urging others to engage in lawful means of political dialogue and not to make the same mistake are productive approaches, and in that regard the local GOP got it right. But when I see a Trump supporter waving a sign at the roundabout I'll have to wonder just why they are there.
Is political conscription of trading support in lieu of criminal charges for a misdemeanor part of the plan to make America great again?
I certainly mean no criticism of Mr. Ramos for accepting this deal; one does what one has to do. If my letter here causes him or his family any more angst, I apologize. But the local Republicans only dug themselves in deeper with this one and should apologize to Mr. Ramos and his family at this point and not insist he wave the flag he is offered unless it is his totally free choice.
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