Letter: Steamboat Pilot should bring online comments back

My son stated my favorite description of what the American Flag symbolises: “It stands for our right to improve.” 

It is through freedom that this right is enacted. Freedom of speech is the starting point. Public discussion is essential to discerning truth. This paper used to provide a public forum via the comments allowed below these opinion pieces. It was actually through these discussions that I initially discovered that “fact checkers” lied outright and were simply paid arms of an agenda. This led me down a long road of research which allowed me awareness of certain truths, long before they became public knowledge to all but those with the deepest of denial convictions.

Censorship has harmed society immeasurably. Whether or not it is beyond repair is up to all of us. Those who lead — in government, school, media — must define why they are in their positions. Is it to represent the truth to the people, to the children, and the people’s wishes to the decision-makers, or are they there to prevent open discussion, and represent and impose upon people, a predetermined agenda? The individuals who have been in these positions over the past couple of years have done the second. As a result, children, especially, have been harmed in ways that are unrecoverable.

But we can reverse course. These “leaders” could reopen the public forum in sincerity, not in name. They could re-welcome dissenting ideas. This paper could print this opinion piece with no edits, and could again allow discussion below it. I printed out some past discussions from this paper, in which I’d stated that I believed the mass COVID vaccination would make the world a more dangerous place for my children, but that, in spite of this, I would never try to take away an individual’s right to get one. Responses included suggestions that I should not be admitted to the hospital if in need, because I was unvaccinated, and that I should lose my health insurance. Public discussion among adults should not be prevented because it isn’t polite. But the true reason these discussions were stopped is that they potentially led to the exposure of truths that some did not want exposed. Competition of ideas via discussion allows truth to galvanize. Removal of freedoms equates to reduction of possibilities. That is the opposite of America. But we have the right to improve.

Clare Sibley,

Steamboat Springs

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