Several, mainly Democratic, members of our legislature took to task, in a Sept. 7 letter, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie’s failure to condemn the “violence and hate” which they see in the Aug. 11-12 protests in Charlottesville.
Violence, indeed, took place, much as it is taking place in St. Louis against the workings of our judicial system. But of the many Charlottesville protesters, only a few engaged in violence — the others are not “collectively guilty” of the actions of those few. What I find appalling is the Charlottesville prosecutor’s unwillingness to bring capital murder charges against the man whose automobile ran down one of the counter-protesters.
Whoever ends up being our governor must be governor of all the people — including those with whom we might disagree.
Insisting public officials condemn the expression of such views is a first step towards the kinds of “speech codes” some universities are trying to impose and the outright restrictions in some European Union countries.
This “basket of deplorables” mindset, into which the letter’s signatories would dump the Charlottesville protesters’ free expression is what assault the values upon which our country was founded.