Freedom to speak


With all the recent publicity about Liz Cheney and her condemnation of Donald Trump’s words, that, in her opinion, encouraged the insurrection on Jan 6, I find myself thinking about freedom of speech. I know we all presumably have this right, but sometimes living in Wyoming I don’t feel the right to speak freely.

My liberal views are disdained by many in this community. This makes it very uncomfortable for me to speak freely about the fact that I, too, believe Donald Trump enthusiastically encouraged his supporters at the rally to behave illegally and violently on Jan 6.

I find it odd that these supporters were not upset that after he told them, “I will be right there with you,” Trump instead went to the safety of the Whitehouse and watched the chaos unfold on TV. Some of the protesters said, “This is our house and we have the right to be here and take what we want.”

Well, it’s my house, too, and I was distraught to see it abused on that day. I was also scared of what these (probably) normal everyday people would do to any members of Congress if they were caught. The adrenalin was high, and people get caught up in the furor.

Even though I don’t normally agree with Liz Cheney, I respect her for speaking her truth as well as Mitt Romney and several others. On the other hand, I was disappointed to see some other members of Congress change their stories when confronted by other party members. I respect those who stand by their convictions, even when it threatens their standing with peers.

I don’t feel free to speak about this and other things — like being pro-choice, speaking out against the proposed detention center, being concerned about climate change, thinking it’s OK to have some sort of reasonable gun legislation, etc., etc.

If I were to fly a Biden flag on my house or car, I almost feel like I’m putting a target on my back; but I see Trump flags everywhere and I’ll bet none of the people flying them feel intimidated. No one should feel intimidated to speak freely.

I once asked on Facebook what specifically Donald Trump had done to improve lives. I really wanted to know to help me understand the loyalty. I got no responses. I still would like to know. I know others know others who feel the way I do but feel intimidated to speak out in public.

I feel it’s time to speak freely and share our views. I feel when we do, we find we all (Republicans, Democrats, Independents, etc.) have very similar views of what we want for ourselves, our families and communities. We all need to respect each other’s thoughts. If we take time to listen, we will be able to understand and respect each other. Maybe we can even get Congress to work together and get something accomplished.

Colleen Kunz

Bear River


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