Credit: George Danby / BDN

A dim acquiescence

In an essay called “Freedom,” (1940), my grandfather E.B. White wrote, “I feel sick when I find anyone adjusting his mind to the new tyranny which is succeeding abroad.” What he saw around him was “defeatism and disillusion and … a too studied innocence.” White wrote, “Where I expected to find indignation, I found paralysis, or a sort of dim acquiescence…”

Today, the tyranny is coming from within our nation, and within our White House, but the paralysis seems the same. Instead of our elected officials declaring their beliefs, and acting on them, they are hedging their bets and playing a deadly political game of duck and cover. Some have resigned rather than speak out (Betsy DeVos, Elaine Chao, Mick Mulvaney.) Some, like our Sen. Susan Collins (who told us previously she thought Trump had learned his lesson), now praise Vice President Mike Pence — not for daring to invoke the 25th Amendment, which might seem likely for a man Trump apparently almost got lynched — but for doing his job when he ceremoniously certified the Electoral College results.

Pence “did a remarkable job fulfilling his constitutional duty,” Collins said. Let’s be clear, Pence performed a ceremony that was legally required of him to uphold a fair election. What is remarkable, here, is that Collins does not mention what, if anything, she means to do within her Republican Party that will not denounce the unfit man in the White House.

Martha White


Don’t mention his name

My message to Judy Woodruff and all TV, newsprint/online and radio commentators and journalists:

It’s time to stop all the talk in the news about our president. Every time they mention his name they are advertising him. They are encouraging the negativity, racism, and white supremacy he perpetrates. They are helping him by publicizing his antics and his fog of lies and conspiracies.

Instead, “move on” for the health of our country and the future of our democracy. We have a new upcoming president and vice president as well as a new party in power, which I believe is more interested in healing and helping everyone in positive ways.

Marianne Sacknoff

Stockton Springs

A laughable premise

The recent OpEd piece by Heidi Stevens in the Jan. 11 BDN speculating on what the reaction to the events of Jan. 6 would have been had the rioters been Black or Muslim makes reference to the “peaceful” demonstrations by BLM and antifa over the course of 2020.

Would those be the same “peaceful” demonstrations that accounted for as much as $2 billion in insured property losses (and likely a greater amount in uninsured losses), the destruction of businesses small and large, the burning of police stations, assaults on government buildings (federal, state, and municipal), the attempted murder of and assault on police officers, and countless other instances of assault, arson and looting?

Further, during the economic strain of the pandemic, how many people were put out of work by those actions? Her premise is laughable.

Larry Balchen


Stop blaming others

Conspiracy theories be damned. We all need to look for the truth, first by believing our own eyes and ears from primary sources, such as live videos on television, voice recordings and then verified written reports. What did people see and hear, not what have they heard through opinions, websites or blogs.

Some of what I have noticed for a long time is increased blaming. As soon as something bad happens, someone who is involved blames others, sometimes pointing an index finger in an attempt to deflect their own wrong onto their rivals. That’s what’s happening regarding the insurrection of Jan. 6. People marching with flags, hats, and signs for a Trump takeover of the election and breaking into the Capitol, later blamed others. It was antifa (antifascists) scattered through the crowd who were violent, they say. There is no evidence of that.

There’s a Native American saying that when you point your finger at another in blame, you are pointing three fingers back at yourself. People should try it. If they blame someone else, they should then look at how they themselves are to blame. Own it.

Jesus Christ said this in Matthew 7:5, “You hypocrite! First, remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Vicki Adams