Our political discourse has moved to an ugly, mean-spirited conversation that demonizes the opposition and exaggerates or lies to make a point. This will get us nowhere. Could we agree to research our talking points so that we can avoid the pitfalls of exaggeration and misinformation? I’d like for us to discuss the actual policies and not resort to name-calling and falsehoods. Are you willing to participate in a debate where your opponent bases his/her argument on untruths and name-calling? I’m not.

In a recent letter to the editor, I questioned the accuracy of some of the talking points presented in an opinion piece in the Times-Journal. The author erroneously stated that 400,000 immigrants were crossing the border each month and that gas prices had doubled due to Democratic spending. On average, less than half that number cross the border each month. Gas prices in Fort Payne are around $3.20/gal and both progressive and conservative economists will tell you that is not caused by Democratic spending.

This sort of false argument is particularly egregious when the speaker knowingly makes an argument that she/he doesn’t believe. Fox News stars have preached that you should not get vaccinated and you should quit your job if your employer imposes a vaccine mandate. So why are they staying at their high-paying jobs when Fox News requires all its employees to share their vaccination status and get tested regularly if they are not vaccinated?

I understand that people don’t like some of Biden’s policies. I don’t like the way Afghanistan was handled. But if your reason for disliking Biden is based on falsehoods and exaggerations, I have to ask, “So what is the real reason you don’t like him?” Then we can have an honest and respectful conversation. If your opinion is based on unsubstantiated arguments from the news, politicians and social media, I have some swamp land I’d like to sell you.

I love the U.S. and I love our democracy. Democracy only works when we have honest discussion around our differences and compromise when necessary. Democracy only works when we allow people to vote. Democracy only works when the laws apply equally to everyone, not just the wealthy and powerful. Democracy only works when we pay our taxes. And democracy only works when we stop yelling and exaggerating and start listening.

Tobey Miller,

Fort Payne, Alabama

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email emily.kirby@times-journal.com.

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