St Augustine, FL
Dear Historic City News Editor,
On January 30th, “Indivisible St Johns” held it’s first meeting. We were expecting about 50 people and hundreds showed up.
One gentleman, from the Tea Party, came to express his opposition. I would like to express my respect for his courage. To be the sole opposition in the midst of so many is inspiring.
Initially, there was resistance to his speaking. However, freedom of speech won the day. He made his argument in the time allotted and did it eloquently.
After the meeting, we had a chance to speak very briefly — too many people, too many questions. I do not remember his name.
That is unfortunate as it appears that we had at least one thing in common. A point to begin discussion without belittling or name calling. If we can discuss with respect for difference of opinion, we might at some point find solutions that are mutually acceptable.
So, I would like to attend a Tea Party meeting. Not to belittle or harass. I would like to attend to learn and understand. I most likely will not change my mind. I will, however, learn what your world is like, what your fears are, what concerns you.
I believe that we the people, together, can discuss, argue and debate. I believe that we have the collective intelligence, creativity and ingenuity to figure out mutually agreeable solutions to the problems we face.
For those who disagree with my demand that he be given the right to speak, a line from the Billy Bragg/Pete Seeger modernization of the English version of the Internationale. “Freedom, unless enjoyed by all, is merely privilege extended.”