OPINION

Readers' Mailbag: Our neighbors aren't DEMONcrats. They aren't Trumplicans either. Let’s talk together.

Camden County Democratic Committee
Readers' Mailbag.

"Dear sirs:

The Lake Sun and Lake News Online published a reader’s letter dated December 31, with the headline “Reader’s Mailbag: Election fraud, the DEMONcrats agenda.”

The text was pretty much what one would expect from the headline.

We are the Camden County Democratic Committee – yes, there are enough Democrats among your neighbors to form this committee, mandated by Missouri state election authorities. In fact, based on 2020 election results, you should imagine that about 20% of your neighbors consider themselves Democrats. It’s not a large minority but you might consider this: when you walk around Walmart, worship in a local church, or volunteer at a local charity, odds are good that some of the people around you - who talk and laugh with you about so many important things - disagree with you about politics.

Based on national election results, more than half of Americans voted for the Democratic presidential candidate. 56% of the electoral college vote, deliberately weighted by our country’s founders toward low-population states (states that are now largely rural like our area), also went for the Democrat.

We realize many Republicans locally, and all over the country, believe those results were fraudulent. You can imagine we disagree. From our perspective, those claims have been judged as they needed to be, based on evidence presented and in line with the US Constitution and the defined federal structure of our government: by local and state election officials both conservative and liberal, and by state and federal courts, both conservative and liberal.

Democrats do not tend to be fans of the electoral college our nation uses to elect a president. This year for example, the Democratic candidate won the recorded popular vote easily, by 7 million votes; and yet a change of only 40,000 votes in 3 states would have changed the outcome of this election. For the long term, we Democrats do tend to think that system – that one element of the Constitution - could be improved. In 2016, the Democratic candidate won the popular vote by millions of votes; however, the electoral college vote, and thus the presidency, went to the Republican. Trump won the 2016 election per the rules established. He has been our president for four years. We respect the office of the presidency. We do not think Trump the individual has been a good president, but we could have a civil discussion on that.

Back to the letter that prompted this response, we could go through the points made by the author about what will happen under a Democratic administration. However, without a dialog, we doubt we could reassure the author that his fears are not just overblown but in fact unfounded. We would love to have that calm dialog and go through those points made by the author, one by one. Briefly though: if you imagine Democrats agree completely on ANY issue, much less on a radical left-wing agenda, you should talk with more Democrats. The Democratic party nominated, and Americans elected, the most moderate of a slew of presidential candidates who ran as Democrats. Since his election, have Republicans really found Joe Biden endorsing elements of a radical agenda? We haven’t. We love our country and we are quite confident we will all recognize that country in four years as we go back to the polls in 2024. Meanwhile, none of the Democrats we know rioted this past summer. Some of us did march – peacefully! – in the Camdenton square and elsewhere. All of us who did that appreciated the cordial help and support of the Camdenton Police Department and the Camden County Sheriff’s Department.

Meanwhile also, we doubt that most local Republicans were jumping through windows into the US capitol building and taking selfies on the House floor. On each side, we are mostly reasonable people.

So let’s talk about talking. How we speak with each other. How we figure out what the truth is. Because we all do care about the truth, right? And we are neighbors, so we care about each other too, right?

We won’t insult your intelligence by asking us all to unite around Joe Biden. We realize Republicans would only laugh or roll their eyes at that idea, just as Democrats would roll their eyes at the idea of uniting around Donald Trump. And after all, in some sense a call to unite is a call to stifle disagreement, and that is a truly un-American idea. So let’s not unite but let’s agree to talk like reasonable people. Democrats are not DEMONcrats. Republicans are not TRUMPlicans. Few of us on either side are snowflakes or sheep. And since we are writing for a largely Republican audience which may not interact with a lot of Democrats, let me assure you: some Democrats do indeed refer to you with those insulting terms, just as some Republicans see Democrats as expletives.

Have you noticed how easy it is to talk insultingly to your “friends” on social media about people who are NOT your friends? Democrats do this just as Republicans do! We just have different set of online “friends.” And without passing judgment here on the legitimacy of particular news media, we listen to different talking heads.

Let’s talk together.

We welcome individuals to contact us, the local Democratic committee, via Facebook. Search for “Camden County Democrats.” If you make that contact disrespectfully, we will ignore you. If you make the contact in the spirit of opening a dialog with your neighbors, we hope we could follow up with a private phone conversation or an invitation to debate by e-mail, on radio, in the newspaper, or in a series of group teleconferences or meetings. In fact we’ve proposed to the Lake Sun, a series of parallel op-eds by local Republicans and Democrats explaining our positions on various issues of local interest. We hope we can make that happen.  

Let’s talk. It’s time.

-Camden County Democratic Committee"