Every once in a while, we get asked why we would dare run this letter or that letter, or why we run a political cartoon about which some may disagree or find truly offensive. The answer isn’t necessarily simple, but the concept behind our decisions is simple. It’s called freedom of expression, and it’s embodied in the First Amendment.
We truly believe what makes America strong is that amendment, and while we have plenty of friends and foes who believe the Second Amendment or even the Fourth are the ones worth fighting for, they wouldn’t have the right to fight for them if it weren’t for the First.
Free expression doesn’t mean we agree, or even like, with everything or anything someone writes in a letter to the editor on our pages or with an editorial cartoonist’s viewpoint. More importantly than whether we agree with it or not is whether they have a right to spout craziness or conspiracy theories that have been disproven again and again. And we believe they have the same right to the ink and paper on our pages as they views we espouse and believe are morally, politically, emotionally and philosophically clear. We are not always right, nor are they, but we have the right to be wrong.
That is what the First Amendment allows, even if the words or the cartoon are seriously flawed or even reprehensible. In fact, I may not agree with your viewpoint, but I will fight for your right to have it.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is why we open our pages for the letters and cartoons from all sides of an issue, even if the writer correctly takes on Trump or spews some strange anti-mask theory about it depriving you of oxygen.