Dear Trump Voter #11

Dear Trump Voter,

My understanding is that, generally speaking, most of you are not all that keen on the federal government (or other organizations) overly-regulating the freedoms of smaller groups (a state, a town, a city, a political group, etc) or individuals.

So here’s the thing I’m struggling to understand. The community of Hampshire College agreed that they wanted to fly the U.S. flag at half-mast, and then take it down for an indeterminate amount of time. You disagreed with their decision. And your response?

I saw one of your protests this past weekend in Amherst center. It entailed about a couple dozen large trucks decorated with U.S. flags driving in circles repeatedly around the center, honking horns, yelling at a larger group of counter-protesters standing along the edge of a park waving Peace flags, while a lone police officer struggled to protect pedestrians crossing in a crosswalk. I’m not quite sure how wasting all that gas expresses patriotism. If you wanted to disrupt traffic, I don’t know why you didn’t get out of your cars and just stand across the road with your flags.

You’ve also protested on/near the private property of the Hampshire College campus. Some of you are responding with threats of violence via phone, email, and regular mail. I understand that you are passionate and that you think these folks are wrong; I deeply respect your commitment to showing up to protest something you think is wrong.

Where we part ways is … well, first with threatening the Hampshire community with violence if they don’t adopt your worldview … but also that you want the federal government to withdraw all funding to this college because of their political views, and the decision they made together as a community. What you are proposing is literally a dictatorship – a policy where the government responds to dissent and civil disobedience by with punishment (in this case, using funding as a weapon). If we are not free to disagree with our government, and with each other, are we free?

If your children’s school chooses to raise a U.S. flag each morning, do you want the community of Hampshire College to come out and protest? Probably not. I’m guessing you also don’t want fellow citizens putting pressure on elected officials to withdraw funding from the school for choosing to raise a flag. And I’m about certain that you don’t want fellow citizens calling the school to threaten the teachers, administration, and your children with violence if they keep the flag up.

Do you understand how the tactics you are using look if they are used against you? Is this the precedent you want to set? Is this what freedom looks like to you?

Very truly yours,
Confused Coastal Elite

 

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