To the Editor:

We in America are perhaps too quick to accept unchallenged the use of the Constitution as a defense for poor decisions or associations. This constitutional defense is common to politicians exercising poor judgement.  You will note those politicians found in compromising or contemptable situations will frequently offer a very labored rationalization and narrative, closing such narratives with, and clothing themselves in, the phrase “It’s my First Amendment right.”  It is not only disingenuous, but cowardly as well.

You will not recall a politician invoking the First Amendment when doing that which is morally commendable or correct.  Imagine a politician saying, “Yes, I was associating with puppies and their owners.  The Constitution says I can. What of it?”

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The “what of it” is we all have the same constitutional right. One perhaps we should exercise all the more fervently, as we the people have the obligation and duty to speak up vociferously, holding our elected officials to the high standards guaranteed to all of us within the Constitution. Those politicians who by admission and practice subvert the Constitution are not only unworthy of support, but should be removed by any constitutional means available.

For over four years, President Trump has continuously postulated unfounded conspiracies of widespread voter fraud. To address his accusations of 2016, he by executive order formed a voter fraud commission. A commission of his membership choosing in 2017.  That said commission found so little evidence of fraud that the commission was quietly disbanded by the president without published findings or comment.

Trump in his delusional grasp of reality and belief in a deep state, again put forth the belief that this year’s election was stolen. Various state secretaries, post office operatives, voting machine manufacturers, election workers, bipartisan observers, deep state operatives, leftists, antifa, children and small dogs all joined into a secret cabal to deny him of the 2020 election.

They are charges he insists to this day, despite that his own agencies – Justice, the FBI and Homeland Security – found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and then Trump’s own appointments – SCOTUS and many federal judges – gave no credence to the wild assertions and lawsuits. Homeland Security issued a statement that the 2020 election was “the most secure election in history.”

It is well known that nationalists, racists and the faction known as QAnon clearly identify Trump as their man. Trump at his rallies has exhorted and incited these violent groups to take action against states and political foes. The occupation of Michigan’s state building by militia was clearly a consequence of such incitement.  He has exhorted his followers to dismiss COVID as no more than a mild flu and to eschew masks and social distancing.  He has been egregious in that Trump rallies and state functions have not adhered to the CDC guidelines of his administration. Trump functions have the dubious honor to be known as superspreader events.

Which leads me to the questions of this lengthy letter and an exercise of mine, like Director Sue Soloway’s, First Amendment right of association and speech: Why did Ms. Soloway attend the Jan. 6 Trump rally? Is Ms. Soloway ignorant of the nature of Trump rallies? Is she gullible, an acolyte, a racist, a nationalist, an election conspiracist or, perhaps, simply impressionable? Whatever her predisposition, she clearly lacks the character to represent the residents of Hunterdon County.

I strongly recommend and urge the county board of commissioners to censure Ms. Soloway and remove her from the position of director.

As for her continued occupation on the board, I’m sure like Trump, the electorate will address that.

Sincerely,

Daniel Connor

Franklin Township