Letter to the Editor: United we stand


April 19, 2024

Last week the Pine Knot ran a story by the Minnesota Reformer, with the self-ascribed tagline “Minnesota Reformer is a nonpartisan news producer.” I visited the Reformer website. After perusing several articles, it appears to me this organization is basically a surrogate for the Democrat party that publishes hit pieces. I wrote a letter to the editor filled with vitriol and accusations but paused before I submitted it. I thought, what is one more angry letter going to do to help the situation? It won’t. It may get a few nods of approval by people who believe what I believe and would likely be dismissed by those who don’t.

I am greatly discouraged by the state of our union. I rarely watch the national news or opinion programs anymore because of the slanted journalism and the agendas attached to the reporting. This country has some serious issues and seems headed toward a precipice, but the work of solving these problems does not take place because the politicians and their supporters are all worried about maintaining power and depicting the other side as evil and wanting to completely eradicate the opposing party. I am worried about the country we are leaving for our children. I don’t believe the USA will be taken down by China, Russia, or Iran. Rather, I fear we will be consumed by the rot on the inside.

I don’t belong to either party. I am a conservative Christian and find myself primarily voting for Republican candidates because they are mostly in alignment with my core issues. I have family and friends who vote Democrat. Do I think these individuals want to ruin the country? No. Do I think these individuals are evil? No. It is only by having relationships with people of different views that we can put a human face on the other side.

We have a little over six months until this year’s election. Politics is a nasty business and I do not look forward to the anticipated hate, meanspiritedness, and division that likely lies ahead. This is out of my control. What I can control is how I carry myself as an individual. I will try to listen to people’s concerns and not jump to an adversarial position. I will try to view people with different opinions as fellow Americans and not demonize them as the enemy. I will try to be respectful of all candidates and their supporters. I say “try” to all these things, because I am a flawed individual and may stumble, but I will make the effort because the freedoms that we enjoy are precious and we owe it to our children to preserve them.

Will you join me? United we stand, divided we fall.

A number of years ago, the Pine Knot ran a story where they likened Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler. This infuriated me and still bothers me today that, to my knowledge, they never retracted that sentence. Do they really believe that comparison? My hope is that in the spirit of coming together as fellow citizens of this great country, that the Pine Knot would consider retracting that statement. Let’s get this ball rolling.

John Sanders, Cloquet


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