• 50°

Sound Off doesn’t count in the democratic process

To the Editor:

I would like to comment on the Letter to the Editor (Aug. 29, 2019) by Ms. Elaine Wood, who is currently serving as the chair of the Beaufort County Democratic Party. While I am not personally acquainted with Ms. Wood, the fact that she has taken it upon herself to volunteer to serve in this position says a lot about her love of country, patriotism and strength of character.

So, first off, many thanks to Ms. Wood for your service in support of the democratic process in a largely thankless job that also exposes you to a few innocuous barbs from the “Trumpsters.” I rather doubt you get many thanks for your work, but you’ve got mine and my respect, as well, for your commitment.

As soon as I read Ms. Wood’s letter, I knew it wouldn’t take long for someone to take a cheap shot and suggest that she go back to where she came from. I’ve seen it here before. In fact, it was the very next day in an anonymous “Sound Off,” when one of the “Trumpsters” suggested she go back to New York state, where she came from.

Of course, President Trump modeled the same response when four Congresswomen of color made some critical comments he didn’t like, and he told them to “go back to where they came from.” This, when, in truth, three of the four were born in the U.S. and the other has been a citizen for almost 20 years. In fact, he even took it to the next level by rabble-rousing his supporters at a rally in Greenville to launch a “go back” chant.

Judging by her interest and concern for the democratic process in our community, as evidenced by her volunteerism and willingness to serve, I would think we should be glad Ms. Wood decided to relocate here. In fact, “those from away” quite often appear to lead the way in volunteering for leadership positions in many of the county’s civic/welfare organizations.

Freedom isn’t free and neither is democracy. By definition, it means that We, the People (where have you seen those words before?) hold the ruling power either directly or indirectly through representatives. Perhaps more than any other form of government, a democracy requires that its citizens take an active part in the governing process.

Whatever the case, it requires an informed electorate that accepts the responsibility to make intelligent choices and actually participate in the democratic process. For most of us, it may just simply be no more than making a special effort to vote.

I would suggest that instead of attacking Ms. Wood for her views, we should all try to emulate her behavior by taking a more active role in the democratic process in some manner. We all love to moan, groan and complain, but there are few of us, indeed, who actually try to make a positive contribution toward finding a solution. Ms. Wood is demonstrating her commitment to the democratic process by volunteering her service as chair of the Beaufort County Democratic Party and thus deserves our respect, not our denigration.

In the future, I would suggest that the WDN establish a policy to refuse to print an anonymous response to a signed Letter to the Editor on any subject. If someone take the time to actually write a Letter to the Editor, which by WDN rule has to be signed, then responses or comments in connection to that letter should also be signed. Seem like a common sense approach to me. What do you think?


Dave Woodmansee

Blounts Creek