No 'enhanced penalties' based on beliefs, please
As a former three-term president of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union, I suggest recent interest in Arkansas regarding hate-crime legislation at state and local levels needs to consider the constitutional principles involved.
The fundamental essence of protected speech is a recognition that people may believe whatever they like. They may also give voice to those beliefs in the public or private arena. It is only when they act upon those beliefs in a way that causes harm to others that legal recourse may be indicated.
Regardless of how "offended" others may feel, it is the illegal action only that should be evaluated. There should be no enhanced penalty based on personal belief.
Jules K. Beck
GOP voters, be wary of Democratic ticket
A number of prominent Republican leaders including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich now appear to be supporting Democrat Joe Biden in this year's presidential race. But do these purported Republicans really know what a Democratic victory would mean? Unfortunately, in life we do not often get to decide between good choices and bad choices. That would be too easy. All too often the only choices are between bad ones and even worse ones.
Republican voters should concentrate less on style than on substance in deciding whether to re-elect President Trump. Yes, his style often leaves much to be desired. He's blusterous, a blowhard, and the only president in the WWE Hall of Fame. It's easy to understand why polite society might recoil from him. But I would urge these leaders and voters to concentrate more on the substance of the Trump presidency so far. The economy has recovered from the doldrums of the Obama years and unemployment is down. President Trump has been forceful in challenging Chinese economic indiscretions. We are goading our so-called allies into behaving more fairly in economic matters and paying a fair share for their defense. Troops are being pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan. The wall is being built and illegal immigration is down. All these things have long been Republican goals. Perhaps most importantly, he has appointed more justices who support Republican positions.
So, Republicans who are now supporting Biden should strongly consider what his election -- along with complete Democratic control of Congress--would mean: Packing the Supreme Court and adding new pseudo-states that would certainly vote Democratic. Gutting the Second Amendment to take away our guns. An end to fracking under the Green New Deal. Identity politics. Open borders that would flood the country with illegal immigrants. It's hard to imagine Biden, whose son has been paid by the Chinese, would be willing to stand up to the Chinese. Biden would probably be no more than a figurehead for the Radical Left that would really be running the country. In short, giving the Democrats complete control of our government could mean the end of the American Republic, replaced by a one-party state for the foreseeable future.
I have lived around Chicago much of my life and fear Chicago-style politics will be coming to our nation, making it in effect a Banana Republic. Is this what you want just because Trump's style irritates you so much?