Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Don’t slam petitions

To the editor:

I was disturbed by Anthony Vicari’s letter of July 25, in which he accuses Walmart of hate-mongering.

I am grateful that in America we have the right to petition concerning any subject we please. Few nations enjoy such a splendid privilege. Petitions are a great protection for the majority against private citizens or legislative bodies who would impose their own will upon the majority.

I see nothing threatening in this process. Poor petitions will likely not get sufficient votes, regardless of how strongly their supporters may favor them. But if enough people agree with the petition, it is put on the ballot for a vote by the people. What a marvelous thing that is.

By allowing the petitioner to seek signatures, Walmart is actually supporting the American process. Whether a person agrees or disagrees with the petition has nothing to do with the right to solicit signatures.

Walmart states, “Diversity and inclusion are enduring values embedded in our culture.” However, I feel that Vicari’s problem is his claim that certain segments of society have the right to force their opinions upon others, regardless of how the majority feels. Vicari’s views against this particular petition may or may not be those of the voting public. That is the question this petition will answer, and it is how we maintain freedom against those who would impose their ideology on others.

As for this particular petitioner, I personally spoke with this man before I read Mr. Vacari’s letter. I found him to be pleasant and non-threatening. He informed me that he had been treated very rudely by persons against the petition and that he was, in fact, intimidated himself.

In America, we do not bully those who are practicing their basic rights. Soliciting petitions is not a hate crime. Soliciting signatures with consent of private property owners is likewise not a hate crime.

Those who treat petitioners rudely are speaking against the very freedoms that they claim they support. I fear that some very good people have been indoctrinated to feel that the only way they can be sensitive and fair is to agree with everything and everyone. In America, this is not necessary. There is room for more than one viewpoint. Let’s please respect each other and allow the rule of law to prevail.

Judith LaMontagne


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