Letters: Tell the truth



Chambersburg Public Opinion

Published 3:24 p.m. ET May 16, 2017 | Updated 4:03 p.m. ET May 16, 2017

Tell the truth

Recently, a unique war has erupted in this country. A war on the media. Some of it is justified, but all of it is concerning. With fake news on social media discrediting respectable news organizations, and biased media going after each other instead of the facts, as a citizen trying to stay informed, all of this is alarming. Our political leaders seem to have made things even more chaotic by throwing juvenile tantrums and blatantly lying. The reason I am writing this letter today is because I believe in the importance of “The Fourth Branch of Government” (ie. the media), and keeping the public informed as an unofficial but essential part of our democracy.

Unfortunately, the media has made mistakes. For example, Zeke Miller from the New York Times,  mistakenly reported about MLK’s bust being removed from the Oval Office in January.  He immediately apologized, admitting his mistake and tried as best he could to correct the wrong. For weeks following,  Miller was used as an excuse and distraction for every false statement that President Trump and Press Secretary Sean Spicer had been caught saying, with the childish implication of  “If, Zeke can do it. Why can’t we?”

I’ll tell you why. Zeke Miller and all the other reporters should hold themselves to the highest standards of accuracy, but people do make mistakes. Mr. Miller owned up to his error, but our President and Mr. Spicer do not, and that’s the awful truth. Our President, Press Secretary and any other elected officials must be held to a higher standard. After all, they work for us. A standard of honesty I do not believe is asking too much. They need to tell the truth.

China censors media, North Korea censors media, America needs to grab the First Amendment and hold it tight. Stephen Bannon saying the media should “keep its mouth shut” is downright scary. President Trump’s administration placing limits on the EPA and mandating that any data must go through a review by political appointees before being allowed to be released to the public is the scariest of all. This decision has the potential to result in censorship. I’m asking elected officials to advocate for the citizens who put them in office, the citizens they represent, by holding this administration accountable for its words, actions, and tweets.

Lauren Taylor, Shippensburg

Thanks for help

I had health insurance problems with Medicare and Humana Insurance for several months. After trying several times to fix these problems, I contacted Congressman Shuster’s office in Chambersburg, and they went above and beyond to help me with this problem. (I would especially like to thank Nancy who works in the Chambersburg office.) This is only one example of why Congressman Shuster gets re-elected every time. He and his staff care about the people that he serves.

J.E. Maier, Greencastle

Harmful division

The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, famously said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Those words ring true even to this day, especially in these difficult and challenging times.

For too long, there has been a plague in our country. That plague is division, which started in politics and spread into our daily lives. It seems as if every day we hear from people, or see on the television that there is more anger, hate, and division across our land. Riots continue to break out all across our country. Violence continues to disperse in all 50 states. People with different political views struggle to have a civil conversation with one another. It is not common for members of different political parties to engage in a thoughtful, while at the same time, respectful discussion. Without a doubt, these are quite frightening times. This is not the America that I know and love. If we lose respect for our fellow Americans and continue to divide each other then America will crumble from within and cease to be that shining city on a hill. It does not have to be this way.

There is a better way: Unity among all. I am not saying that political parties nor the members of those parties should agree on everything but a common ground must be found. Having different opinions, and points of view is important and healthy for our country.

But, we must not allow those disagreements to divide us. Instead, let’s work together and build a stronger, more unified America. There are many challenges we, as a country, face today including gun violence, economic hardship, war, immigration, an opioid crisis and much more. If we come together, those problems will be solved and America will continue to flourish. We must not forget who we are and what America represents.

Many items make this country beautiful and important. A few items that hold great importance are the Constitution, which is our supreme law and has been effective for 228 years. Another item is the United States Declaration of Independence, which got us out from under the thumb of British rule and created a new country – the United States of America. A third item is the magnificent monolith that is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, which serves as a beacon of hope for all. We are Americans before we are a member of a political party, and we share a common goal of peace and prosperity.

Tanner Baughman, Hustontown

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