LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Disagreement can be orderly and respectful

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The Union-Bulletin carried an article Friday, "Driver's license proposal called racist, anti-immigrant," in which a legislative hearing on the new driver's license application proposal had to be brought to an abrupt halt, because of disorderly conduct.

It's a sad state of affairs when rude, disrespectful individuals choose to disrupt this legislative procedure that allows for "orderly" public input on a proposed new legislative bill (a freedom not found in most countries), thus not allowing others to offer their opinions.

These are individuals who feel the new bill is "racist and anti-immigrant" because it requires applicants to produce proof of a Social Security number, which you must do to work.

Come on now, racist? The Department of Licensing staff members, when asked to explain how it would work, are shouted down disrespectfully without being able to completely answer the question because they didn't like the answer -- "If there are any questions about residence, licensing staff must establish whether they are lawfully present in the state."

This makes the state anti-immigration? I feel not.

Some opposed to the proposal stated, "It would make the state less safe because undocumented immigrants would still drive, but without licenses or insurance." My only question is how? How would requiring a Social Security card to get a license make the state less safe?

I'm not saying it would make the state any safer, but for sure it would not be less safe.

Undocumented immigrants are going to drive with or without a driver's license. If they are stopped without a driver's license, then the police have the obligation to enforce the law -- though they will probably then be referred to as racist if the driver is a person of color.

Yes, we live in a country that allows and protects freedom of speech, but wouldn't it be nice if this would be done in a respectful and orderly manner. To use an oft used quote, "I don't agree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it." (Evelyn Beatrice Hall -- not Voltaire)

I personally would add, "if done in an orderly and respectful manner" at the end of the quote.

It's sad when some will trample on the rights of others as they proclaim their right to do so. That's not, in my opinion, what our Founding Fathers had in mind.

David Conklin
College Place

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