We were recently asked to sign a letter taking a stand against what we believe are fundamental, God-given rights. While we agree that it is best to conduct ourselves in a respectful, lawful manner, we do not believe we (as candidates or public servants) should ever condemn the exercise of free speech. The first amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” and any who currently hold or aspire to hold public office, should do everything in their power to uphold these rights. While we personally choose not to participate in rallies at people’s homes, we would never tell anyone else that they should not feel free to exercise their rights. We feel that flying the flag upside down is appropriate and patriotic, as that is a symbol of distress, and our country is undergoing deep distress today.
That said, we do explicitly and unequivocally condemn and disavow individuals infringing on the rights of others, be that trespassing, vandalism, assault, or any other illegal activity. There is no place for these things in politics, or a civilized society. The damaging of political signs is also not only wrong, but illegal, and a cheap effort to gain an unfair advantage in a race that should be based on the merits of the preferred candidate, not on damaging the appearance of the opposing viewpoint. Personal attacks and damaging of campaign materials are cowardly acts and our organizations pledge to oppose the actions on the highest level.
Battle Ground is a beautiful small town, with diverse beliefs and opinions. We condemn any efforts to silence the voice of the people, and we will always fight to protect the rights of all to express themselves, even if we disagree with them.
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