Are you concerned? Vote for Biden


To the Editor:

Are you concerned about bringing the pandemic to an end? About restoring lost jobs and businesses? About being evicted? About economic survival?

Are you concerned about the future of our public schools? The safety of our children, grandchildren and teachers on every day that school is open?

Are you in need of affordable health care? Do you believe everyone should have it?

Are you concerned about high prices in the grocery store? Loss of savings, loss of investments?

Are you concerned about the future of Medicare and Social Security? Do you depend on those programs? Donald Trump has made repeated attempts to undermine them.

Do you believe a president should obey the law? Including stepping down if they lose the election? Donald Trump has indicated he may not do that.

Are you worried about gun violence in our nation’s public schools? Are you sickened by the hatred and racism that are spewed everywhere and egged on by Donald Trump?

If you are concerned about any of these things, vote – for Biden.

Never voted for a Democrat before? Maybe now is the time.

Not your first-choice candidate? Not mine either – but it doesn’t matter. That’s who we have.

Don’t know enough about Biden to vote for him? We know enough about Trump to know that we can’t take four more years of this.

No one in your family voting for Biden? That’s OK. A secret ballot is a secret ballot. Even if you vote by mail, which requires a witness, that witness is there to certify that you voted, not how you voted – they are not supposed to watch who you select. That’s why they sign the envelope, not the ballot.

Thinking about not voting? That’s only half a vote against Trump. To make your voice heard, vote for Biden. Thinking about a third-party candidate? That’s the same as not voting at all, because a third-party candidate won’t win. Vote for Biden.

Our democracy is under serious attack by a President who refuses to obey the law. Do you want to wake up on Nov. 4 to a true dictatorship? If you don’t, vote for Biden.

Vote, and vote early. If you mail in your ballot, do it early. If you do early voting, vote closer to Oct. 15 than Oct. 31. If you vote in person, vote early in the day!

If you are concerned, vote. For Biden.

Louise Runyon,



Protests about Trump are merely a smoke screen


To the Editor:

Thou doth protest too much methinks!

Remember that saying used when someone is trying to convince you to their way of thinking, which is the opposite of the truth. This is exactly what is being imposed on the American public to keep President Donald Trump from being reelected. Those who “doth protest too much” include the media – newspapers, cable and mainstream radio and TV; social media; Hollywood celebrities; book authors; politicians; former and present members of Congress; state officials as on and on they chatter as Trump tries to continue keeping America great again. Notice too that, especially in the media, all use the same phrases to describe some, in their opinion, negative action, behavior, or words committed by Donald Trump.

The American people are not stupid. We can see that behind these continual and repetitive Trump negativisms is the truth that Trump has kept his promises to find solutions to our country’s problems. He has successfully tackled solving illegal immigration, unfair trade practices, high prescription drug costs, failing manufacturing corporations and low employment. Prior to the COVID virus pandemic he had the economy humming, employment way up for all workers, taxes lowered and corporate returns to the U.S.A.

The overbearing objectors would have us believe he did nothing about the COVID virus ignoring that he did just the opposite by immediately stopping travel from China and Europe, organizing a diverse task force that reported to us daily, brought corporations together in agreement to retool for producing needed medical supplies, provided states with any and all supplies needed, including hospital ships and interim hospitals. He engineered a congressional stimulus plan to aid individuals and businesses while paving the way for drug companies to create a vaccine in record time. All the while he calmly, as leaders have done historically, assured the country we will succeed in beating this virus.

The negatives coming from the anti-Trump cabal are a smoke screen. They doth protest too much.

Carol Adams,



Evil means not justified by good ends


To the Editor:

In his Sept. 17 guest commentary, Rev. John Reid clearly listed some of the problems Christians should be having with voting for Donald Trump.

Christians have been lured into thinking evil means are justified by good ends. They are not. Christian support for President Trump is a real hindrance to the witness to nonbelievers in even small, everyday ways.

Recently I was at a local place of business run by people who are very up front about their Christian faith. They are equally up front about their support for President Trump. None of the half dozen employees in the shop were wearing masks (one did have one draped around his neck). These Christians had an opportunity to use a very simple means for conveying concern for their neighbors (and, obey the law), but instead sent a political message based on a rejection of medical science and a failure to obey a Biblical commandment. How sad for the cause of Christ.

Bruce Henderson,



Not all monuments are compatible


To the Editor:

Kudos to Mr. Huguelet for writing of his recent revelations of slavery in Jackson County. Unfortunately, if he continues to study antebellum history, the bloom of the Confederacy may further fade. Such was the case with me.

As to his proposal of an additional monument to African American contributions on the old courthouse grounds, consider this: Would we erect a monument to the victims of the Holocaust and leave a monument 30 feet away to the “brave German soldiers” who fought to preserve their homeland and the right to exterminate as many Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and Communists as they could? In both cases, one monument is to a hapless victim of injustice, and the other monument is to the very instrument of such injustice. These are not logically compatible.

Monuments to brave fathers and sons who fell on a battlefield belong on those battlefields where they demonstrated their brotherhood and bravery, but not out in the world where their cause was unjust and where such monuments are interpreted by many as monuments to white supremacy. The abolishment of slavery did not abolish the belief in white supremacy in many Americans; nor will the abolishment of the symbols to the Confederacy. However, it makes a statement that times are changing. White supremacy and the resulting racial injustice must finally end.

Modification on explanation of Sylva’s Confederate statue is insufficient. This symbol to the Confederacy, a memorial to racial injustice should go, completely.

Gary Kirby,



Social Security is on the ballot


To the Editor:

With the suspension of payroll taxes this month, President Trump has struck a well-aimed blow in his battle to destroy Social Security.

While billed as a form of COVID-19 relief, this action boosts the paychecks of those who are still employed but does nothing to relieve the suffering of those who have lost their jobs and are most at risk. The intent of Trump’s action is clear: his executive order, carried out despite opposition from lawmakers of both houses, has efficiently undercut the source of disability benefits as well as retirement security for many millions of U.S. citizens. Make no mistake, Social Security is on the ballot in this election.

While the suspension of payroll taxes is temporary as it now stands, Trump has claimed the power to completely terminate the funding of Social Security without Congressional authorization. He has stated, “If victorious on Nov. 3, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax.” If permanent, these cuts will both achieve Trumps’s goal of destroying Social Security and generously profit corporations by allowing them to keep the money they previously contributed through payroll taxes.

According to the Chief Actuary of Social Security, if the payroll tax cut becomes permanent, disability benefits provided by Social Security would end in 2021, and by late 2023 all benefits to retirees would cease. The results would be devastating. Multiple surveys of the U.S. population indicate that Social Security provides more than half the income of one in every four seniors; three in 10 seniors would have incomes below the poverty line if Social Security no longer exists.

Social Security is not an entitlement but an earned benefit. Women and men who have paid into the Social Security system throughout their working lives deserve to receive the secure income promised to them in retirement; and those who are working now deserve to look to a stable future that they can anticipate with confidence.

I urge you to vote this year and to remember that along with voting to save our planet and our democracy, you are voting to save our society, as well.

Joan Byrd,



Pool would benefit health, economy


To the Editor:

I’m writing this letter to encourage my fellow Jackson County voters to vote yes for the indoor pool referendum, which is on this year’s ballot.

Does the following scenario sound familiar to you? The kids want to do something, and it’s cold, so you take them to the Waynesville indoor pool. You drive all the way there and pay the nice Waynesville pool folks the money to enter the pool. After the pool, the kids are hungry, so you go to a fast food place in Waynesville to eat. Then you stop by the grocery store there before you head home. Finally, you fill up in Waynesville (you need gas after all that driving).

Without a Jackson County indoor pool, a lot of money is going to other localities with pools. I urge you all to vote for the indoor pool so we can swim local. Swimming locally is tied to shopping locally. Do you want money to stay in this county? If so, say yes to the indoor pool!

Beyond dollars and cents, the health benefits and joy benefits of an indoor pool are undeniable. Aqua fitness (and just having fun swimming and playing in a pool) is great exercise and very easy on our bodies. Did you know that the proposed pool will include a vortex therapy pool? What about the six-lane, 25-yard competition pool? Our local swim team can finally have a place to host events (and these events bring folks to our county who need to eat and shop). And the diving board with diving well (we can have a diving team – equals events – equals folks who come here to eat and shop)? How about the aqua climbing wall? Do your kids know about the proposed zero depth entry splash pad, and kiddie play features such as dumping bucket, spray fountains, water basketball and volleyball? Don’t forget the party rooms (no more driving to Waynesville for birthday parties. Did I mention that birthday parties bring folks to our county who eat and shop?).

Nothing in life is free: paying for the pool will result in an average homeowner in Jackson County (with a home valued at $150,000) paying $33.90 in additional property taxes per year. How many trips to Waynesville is that? Not many. And your time savings will be invaluable.

Vote yes for the indoor pool. Let’s all swim local!

Sloan Despeaux,



A new generation learning at the feet of angry people


To the Editor:

I was a witness this weekend to a parade of vehicles full of people shouting hateful comments and bearing signs with offensive messages. The fact that this gathering could have easily led to violence was disturbing to say the least.

This is what is becoming the norm in our society today. What a tragedy! I have lived a long time in this world and have never been violent with anyone. Thankfully, no one has been violent with me. I was taught to communicate my thoughts and feelings without having to resort to irrational behavior.

This violence is essentially behavior that is now being encouraged and condoned and serves as a catalyst for the spreading of COVID-19. None of these rage-filled individuals were wearing a mask. I imagine, to them, it is a sign of weakness to wear a mask. Their lack of compassion for others clearly prevents them from practicing social distancing. They have obviously never been taught empathy or kindness toward others.

I suppose, in order to cope, we have to remind ourselves that an insecure person enjoys causing pain and suffering. It provides a sense of power in an otherwise powerless person. Hence, the birth of a bully. Rather than hate them back, we need to see them as existentially dead people who have a need to appear special. Many of these behaviors were learned at an early age and, unfortunately, a whole new generation is learning at the feet of these angry people.

Hopefully, those of us who do not condone violence, hate, racism, discrimination and bigotry will simply continue to live the truth and be models for a moral life.

Michael Gonzalez,