Archived Opinion

Important freedoms are under siege

Important freedoms are under siege

To the Editor:

We now live in a free country. We cherished the freedom to worship as we choose; the freedom to pick our leaders, and the right to a free press; the freedom to teach our children as we choose; and the freedom to make choices about our bodies and who we love.

But today not everyone believes in these basic freedoms.

The right to vote is under attack especially in North Carolina. By gerrymandering our district lines and passing laws to limit voting, politicians in Raleigh are now able to choose their voters, all in the name of preventing voter fraud. A problem that statically does not exist. Your right to have your vote count now depends on what party you belong to and where you live. This attack on our right to vote is an attack to all our freedoms and the Constitution itself. 

The founding fathers regarded a free press essential to the democratic republic they created. Today some candidates promise if elected to use the power of the government to silence any media that dares to criticize their rule. These are the same candidates who call the press “The enemy of the people.” The silencing of critical journalism is a fundamental element of every totalitarian state. 

As parents we believe that we should have the right to have a say in what our children learn. But now some parents believe they have the right to determine what is best for all children. As a result public libraries and public school systems are under attack if they don’t adhere to their religious or political views. The rise of these thought police should scare us all, not just parents. 

Related Items

In the recent U.S. Supreme Court case that eliminated a woman’s right to make a personal decision about her body, one majority justice also questioned the right to use contraceptives and the right of citizens to marry who they choose. It now seems that our freedom to make very personal decisions in our doctor’s office and our bedrooms may be at risk. This kind of thinking is fundamental to certain religious beliefs. It now appears that if you don’t hold those beliefs the state may come after you. So do we truly have the freedom to worship as we choose, or as in ancient Roman, times must we pay homage to the gods chosen by the state?

Louis Vitale


Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.