December 3, 2020

To The Editor:

"They ALL need to be charged with treason and publicly executed."

Lisa Fresquez wrote these words in her letter to the editor that appeared in the December 2 edition of The Telegram. She is speaking about members of the Democratic Party.

With these words, she crossed a line. Threats of physical violence are not acceptable, nor are they covered by the First Amendment.

These words incite violent acts that put people in real danger of harm or death. They drive the like-minded to feel the approval, even the obligation, to endanger others in their political cause.

Irresponsible calls to violence such as this must never be tolerated in our country.

Moreover, I strongly disagree with other comments the writer made. They contain misinformation and false conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact. For example, the lack of evidence of election tampering is almost universally accepted among government officials, even the Republican, Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr.

Still, true Americans agree that she has the freedom to select the media outlet she follows, to draw whatever conclusions from those media she sees fit, and to publicly make known whatever responsible opinions she feels to be true via whatever appropriate avenue she chooses.

However, a baseless call to execute anyone, much less a large group of people, is a frightening indication of the contentious, misguided, and polarized spirit of our times.

Mary Jean Rieder, Jackson