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Hatred, bullying have to stop

Is this really where we have sunk to?

The news of the FBI successfully infiltrating a Michigan terrorist organization and thwarting a plot to overthrow state government by kidnapping Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sounds more like a fictional best seller than it does a sobering reality slap in the face.

We are thankful to the FBI and a host of other law enforcement agencies for stopping the heinous plan, and we thank those who kept Whitmer and others safe.

The act reinforces to us that we must work harder to eliminate the erosion of respect, decency, and common sense that permeates society today.

First, the lack of civility and respect in government and between people on social media has to stop. This plot is in large part the result of such venom and vile that was allowed to fester at social media sites.

Second, we need to hold people accountable for their actions and statements. If someone is being a moron, we need to call them out on it, instead of coddling them. Bullies need banished. We need to instill filters again in our conversations and posts.

Politics has become too confrontational, too aggressive, and too polarized. We need to return debate and discussion to the political process, not disdain and discord.

We understand Whitmer hasn’t always been a favorite of everyone. We get the fact that many disagree with her stances, most recently her handling of COVID-19 issues. But she is our governor. We elected her to lead the state and we should respect her decisions. If we disagree, we can work to try and correct them, but not violently, and certainly not in the ways those men were considering.

The plot was insane. Those involved need prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Why would anyone get so upset over having to wear a mask or stand six feet apart from another?

Many of us need to step back and reassess what is important in life.

Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield offered a place to start.

“Respect others,” he said. “Be patient. Be kind. Attempt to understand other opinions. Love your neighbor as yourself. If we do these, we can overcome disagreement or challenge.”

As Whitmer herself said Thursday: “Let’s show a little kindness. And a lot more empathy. Give one another some grace. And let’s take care of each other.”

(THE ALPENA NEWS)

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