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Ernest H. Pitt aebra/,
Publisher Emeritus G M
1974-2015 ? /J 2 *?
617 N. Liberty Street q years #
i elaine Pitt Business Manager
donna Rogers Managing Editor
WaLI d. PlTT Digital Manager
The Chronicle is dedicated to serving the
residents of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County
by giving voice to the voiceless, speaking truth
to power, standing for integrity and
encouraging open communication and
lively debate throughout the community.
On Thursday, Oct. 20, Rachel Maddow revealed
on her MSNBC television show that retired U.S.
Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter gave a warn
ing about our democracy on Sept. 14, 2012. That
was four years ago.
Souter was speaking about the Constitution. He
was speaking about "civic ignorance," when people
don't understand how government can and should
He says he sees "the pervasive ignorance of the
Constitution of the United States and the structure of
government" as the most significant problem in
American politics today.
mm His words appear a bit eery after Donald Trump
made his declaration that he will wait and see
whether he will accept the results of the General
Election before conceding if he loses. The United
States has always had a peaceful transfer of govern
ment. Trump's declaration appears to threaten that.
"What I worry about is that when'problems are
not addressed, people will not know who is respon
sible and when the problems get bad enough ...
some one person will come forward and say 'Give
me total power and I will solve this problem.' That is
how the Roman republic fell. Augustus became
emperor not because he arrested the Roman senate.
He became emperor because he promised that he
would solve problems that were not being solved.
"If we know who is responsible, I have enough
faith in the American people to demand performance
from those responsible. If we don't know, we will
stay away from the polls, we will not demand it, and
the day will come when somebody will come for
ward and we and the government will in effect sav
'Take the ball and run with it, do what you have to
do.' That is the way democracy dies.
"And if something is not done to improve the
level of civic knowledge, that is what you should
worry about at night."
United States forefather Thomas Jefferson said:
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state
of civilization, it expects what never was and never
will be. If we are to guard against ignorance and
remain free, it is the responsibility of every
American to be informed."
When asked what kind of government the United
States would have if the Constitution is approved,
forefather Benjamin Franklin said: "A republic, if
you can keep it."
Souter said: "You can't keep it in ignorance."
Trump supporters appear to be looking for that
person to solve all their problems instead of trying to
understand how our democracy works.
wSouter was a guest on a new program in his
native New Hampshire called "Constitutionally
Speaking: How Does The Constitution Keep Up
With The Times." The show was partly supported by
the then-newly established NH Institute for Civic
Education, which provides professional develop
ment opportunities to New Hampshire teachers so
that civics education becomes a reality for all public
school students beginning in kindergarten and con
tinuing through graduation from high school.
Civics lessons were taught in schools across the
United States at one time. What happened? Why
does New Hampshire have to make a big deal about
training young people about civics when it should
already be taught in the schools?
Just as the closing of newspapers is a threat to
democracy, the lack of civics education in schools is
a threat, too.
We all should make it a point to rid ourselves of
ignorance of civics. The Chronicle is helping with its
Voter Guide, published last week and inserted into
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Vote John Larson
To the Editor:
Nearly a year ago I became a
member of the committee to elect
John Larson to the City Council. 1
have known John for years as a casu
al friend who was always responsive
when I asked for help with an activi
This last year working with him
on his election committee has of
course increased facts I know about
him, such as his 40-year residency in
the South Ward, his 37-year tenure at
Old Salem, and his significant volun
In addition, I learned to appreci
ate his high energy about matters of
importance to him, his keen insights
about issues related to the South
Ward, his skill assessing and prob
lem solving, and his ability to listen
to what others had to contribute.
In short, John Larson has enjoyed
being a candidate, including the
stimulation and challenges inherent
in the role. During the long cam
paign he has knocked on over 4,000
doors in the South Ward, trying to
get a clear picture of this very
diverse part of our city. He has
expressed his surprise and delight
over that diversity.
Throughout the campaign, John's
love and appreciation for the South
Ward, Winston-Salem, and Forsyth
County was unmistakable. We are
fortunate to have a candidate who,
after his retirement from Old Salem
in December, will without a doubt
continue to be a creative, dedicated,
enthusiastic, and insightful advocate
for the people of the South Ward as
well as the entire city.
Anne Griffis Wilson
. 1 y
is right person
for House Dist. 74
To the Editor:
I am writing to recommend
Marilynn Baker for House District
74, who is running against incum
bent Debra Conrad. The time has
never been better to remove ineffec
tive Republicans who have been too
long in office and replace them with
strong and educated leaders such as
I know Marilynn Baker and see
how hard she works, taking an
active role to make our community
better, from helping coordinate and
generously supply the Educators
Warehouse with supplies to help
teachers who are facing budget cuts
from the state, to working through
her church to support those less for
tunate in our community.
She does not just write a check,
but rolls up her sleeves and gets to
work to serve where she sees a
need. She has listened to seniors
and met with the regional AARP
associate state director for advocacy
and outreach to learn what our leg
islature needs to do to support our
Marilynn clearly demonstrates
the selfless servant leadership N.C.
The lines may be long to vote in
this critical election, and the ballot
is long, but it is imperative that we
all take the time to vote and support
our Democratic candidates who
offer strong, sane leadership in these
as county judge
To the Editor:
I have known countless superior
court judges throughout this State
during the many years that I have
practiced law and Judge Eric
Morgan is unquestionably one of
The really good superior court
judges study and understand the
law, listen and understand the argu
ments of both sides before ruling,
strive to be fair and impartial what
ever the consequences, and treat
everyone in the courtroom with,
respect. Those are the qualities of
Judge Eric Morgan. It is not an easy
Judge Morgan has a strong edu
cation and experience foundation
which prepared him to be an excel
lent superior court judge: Reynolds
High School, Phi Beta Kappa at the
University of Virginia, University of
Texas Law School, with honors.
He has practiced law in Forsyth
County beginning in 1991 and has
served as a judge since 2014.
Judges and judicial candidates in
North Carolina are rated in a survey
by the N.C. Bar Association. Judge
Morgan had the highest rating in the
State in the five contested superior
It is sometimes difficult for vot
ers who aren't lawyers to know
which judges to vote for, but this
one is easy. It isn't even close.
Judge Eric Morgan is one of the
crown jewels of the North Carolina
judicial system that we need to
Richard V. Bennett
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