letters stock graphic

We’re becoming a nation of hate

Editor, The Beacon:

You know, just pray for us all. We are all guilty of being a nation of hate, not a nation of United States.

Hate because you’re a Democrat, a Republican, a Negro, a Muslim, Mexican, gay, lesbian, because you’re rich, you’re poor, you’re a police officer, NRA supporter, because you cut in front of me in line or in traffic, Jewish, Catholic, Christian … the list just goes on.

Recently I posted something, and the response I got was “as a Democrat, I’m insulted.” There it was: not insulted as a person or an American, but as a Democrat. It’s been nothing but a boiling pot of hate that festered in 2012 and continues like an infestation in this country.

It has broken up family, friends, co-workers. You can’t joke around with people anymore. You walk on ice when you talk. You even have to be careful what you wear, for God sakes. We rape and murder our children.

People call themselves Christians, go to church on Sunday, then will bully and demean the next person they run into who pisses them off because of their faith, color, political affiliation, what they are wearing or — God forbid — what they say.

The last time I looked around, the U.S. was a free country, not a World War II Germany.

We, the U.S., are becoming just like the countries we fight against. We are a mangled mess.

And everything is blamed on one person, one man. There is nobody responsible for what you say or do but you. I, alone, am responsible for my behavior, for how I dress and for what comes out of my mouth.

Maybe we should all look in the mirror this morning and ask, “Who am I, and what have I become?”

Love me for what I am, not what you want me to be.

Chris Weller

Orange City



We could use moderation

Editor, The Beacon:

I’d like to follow up on the cautionary guest commentary done by Daniel Vaughen. Thank you, Daniel Vaughen. The call for moderation and calmer dialogue couldn’t be more needed at this time in our history.

I felt real empathy with what Mr. Vaughen had to say. I, too, have been present at demonstrations where the actions of people around me made me question the good of what we were trying to do.

I hope that a lot of people let the message Mr. Vaughen shared sink in and motivate them in how they respond to things, especially politics.

When Mr. Vaughen used the example of how World War I reparations brought about World War II and how the Marshall Plan helped rebuild Europe, another course of events came to my mind.

It’s scary when events in history seem to repeat. For more than 60 years, in the 19th century, our nation slowly became civically polarized.

If you study history in depth, you find how the Northern and Southern states alienated each other both economically and politically. Failure by the government to deal with slavery coupled with unfair trade practices festered anger in the populace.

Eventually, compromises were no longer accepted. Tempers flared so much that in 1856 on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Republican Sen. Charles Sumner was viciously attacked by Democratic Rep. Preston Brooks with a cane after giving a speech. That’s how bad it was getting. Five years later, the whole nation was at war.

What does that have to do with today? Well, we have people accosted and spit on for wearing MAGA hats. We’ve all witnessed an exhaustive two-year investigation of our president that proved only that a faction of our nation hasn’t accepted an election decision. I don’t understand why this keeps happening.

Someone, please explain to me how that crazy crybaby balloon isn’t an obvious characterization of what’s been going on.

If people don’t like the outcome of the past election, the thing to do is to vote for a change in the next election. That’s what I did for nine years. I didn’t like the choice of our last president but did I do anything close to the constant public attack our current president is under? No!

So why can’t people accept this present president as we have with previous ones? We have to be civil, and we have to have peaceful discourse, not a continuation of what’s been going on.

My greatest fear is a repeat of similar divisiveness entrenching itself and bringing about a real civil war. That’s also why I’m glad Mr. Vaughen wrote his commentary.

We have to think more about the consequences of our actions and find moderation. Let’s once again agree to disagree and do it in a civil manner.

We can do better. Isn’t that one of the things that made America the hope and promise of freedom to the world?

Larry French


— French is a historian and author of the book Grand Hotels of West Volusia County.


Changes can be made at the local level

Editor, The Beacon:

Our state Legislature has failed the citizens of Florida once more, not only by their actions but also by their inaction in the recent session.

Thus, it is incumbent that changes be made at the local level.

Change usually starts at the grassroots level through local rule.

It is imperative that the DeLand City Commission and the Volusia County Council address the following issues:

1. Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

2. Ban assault weapons.

3. Open primary elections.

4. Restore voting rights to felons.

5. Allow use of recreational marijuana.

6. Release nonviolent criminals arrested for drug usage.

7. Repeal protections from dangerous pesticides.

8. Restrict law enforcement from participating in ICE issues.

This is an opportunity to do the “right thing(s)” for the working people of Volusia County. The demographics warrant change to make the quality of life better in this community.

The choices are: a. Do nothing, b. Wait for the state, c. Wait for the federal government, or d. Start the ball rolling right here.

Perhaps, just perhaps, this is a little naive to think that the commission or the council is bold enough or can risk making changes, but as Helen Keller once said and to paraphrase her statement, “change begins with just a few people.”

There is no change without risks. Likewise there is no success without risks. Go for the “brass ring.”

Everett Ray Johnson