To the editor:
The June 11 offer by Dan Braswell for a “reasonable review” of his writings is typical of the party-affiliated vortex of distraction from the issue – “That’s what I said but I didn’t say that” – which is echoed from Washington too often.
The issue is citizens’ right to free speech. Braswell and Del. John McGuire need to review two things: The First Amendment right to free speech and the Supreme Court’s decision about public officials blocking citizens from posting to their social media accounts.
The First Amendment provides the public with a venue “to petition the government for redress of grievances.” Since McGuire is the people’s government representative, his blocking access to and deleting comments on his Facebook account is unconstitutional and prevents us from voicing our concerns.
So where should we go if McGuire is emotionally incapable of dealing with opposition? He ignores the concerns of constituents, which is the point. We have the right to express our views to him regardless of his immature attitude. All citizens of the 56th district should be concerned about delegates who are unwilling to communicate with the public they serve.
This should be disturbing to everyone, even Braswell who actively and passively advocates McGuire’s abuse of First Amendment rights instead of performing an intervention to overcome those feelings of inadequacy.
More important is McGuire’s intimidation and bullying to prevent the public’s right of access to his office. Supposedly, he took another oath to uphold the Constitution when he became delegate, but probably had his fingers crossed. If he can’t perform his service to the public, why is he in office?
Why shouldn’t he answer questions? Why shouldn’t he be held accountable? Whenever the people of the 56th district want answers, his approach seems to be to “bunker” down. He can’t even set up a venue where everyone is comfortable – the cause for that discomfort shows itself with his Facebook rants. All his ranting seems to be the overall political strategy of his party. If we could get a coherent post from McGuire, it would help.
Right now, with all his campaigning and overall lack of communication skills, he only displays limited ability to grasp complex and comprehensive issues that are necessary for public safety. His narrow scope belies the broader perspective he can’t cope with.
The United States Supreme Court decided that Trump’s attempts to block citizens from his Twitter account because they didn’t praise him enough, or at all, are unconstitutional. It decided that a public official’s social media account cannot be used as a propaganda tool and only allow access to the party faithful for comments. This decision also applies to McGuire’s Facebook page.
It must be that McGuire has that same “sensitivity” to criticism as too many of his colleagues.
For all the glorification of military service as justification for public service, Braswell made me think of a military phrase that can be applied to McGuire. As paraphrased: Cowardice in the face of constituents!