EDITORIAL: Words do matter

Posted 1/31/17

The world is watching the United States right now, waiting to see what President Donald Trump does and wondering how citizens will react.

In Washington state and in Jefferson County, the reactions …

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EDITORIAL: Words do matter

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The world is watching the United States right now, waiting to see what President Donald Trump does and wondering how citizens will react.

In Washington state and in Jefferson County, the reactions are coming quickly.

People turned out on Jan. 20, the day Trump was inaugurated, and then again Jan. 21 in downtown Port Townsend to voice concerns about Trump’s tweets and takes on women’s issues, climate change, health care, immigration, human rights and more.

Within days of Trump taking office, three new grassroots chapters of Indivisible, an organization touted by TV host Rachel Maddow, were created in Jefferson County: one in Port Ludlow, one in Port Townsend and one on Marrowstone Island. Indivisible was created by former congressional staff members to teach people how to engage Congress and get elected officials to listen.

Jefferson County Democrats, meanwhile, have lost their chair with the sudden resignation of Linda Callahan. An estimated 200 Democrats showed up on Jan. 26 to work with party leaders to take action to resist Trump’s actions.

A day earlier, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement regarding Trump’s executive orders restricting refugee assistance and immigration.

“We are not powerless. We will resist any attempt to reduce our nation’s already small contribution to aiding people and families who fall victim to global humanitarian crisis,” Inslee said. “Any attempt to compromise the ability of our law enforcement agencies to focus on their job of keeping our communities safe will be resisted.”

Inslee is right. No one is powerless. Everyone has a voice. This is a democracy.

It’s all a question of how and when you use the voice you have to take action. Locally, let us be sure we use our voices forcefully but kindly with one another.

While the world is watching the United States, our children are watching us.

Bullying behavior that threatens to drown out differing opinions should not be condoned and that includes on Facebook posts, in letters to the editor and on the street.

Words do matter.

Let us fight falsehoods with facts. Let us challenge bullying behavior with peaceful resistance.

Let us show our children and the world how democracy works.

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