FEBRUARY 12, 2010
What's wrong with you people in Goffstown?
To the Editor:

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Goffstown with my family while on vacation.  I found it to be a charming and quaint New England town with friendly folks everywhere.  In fact, the popcorn stand at your town square serves the best I've ever had!

Since visiting your community, I became a regular reader of your local websites and publications such as the Goffstown News (a friend mails me a copy every week), this GRA website and the online version of your state newspaper, the Union Leader.  I also follow your local events on the Goffstown Today and Goffstown Edge websites, and even take a look at your town and school websites from time to time.

Having been born and brought up in Tijuana, Mexico, I have a special appreciation for the rights and freedoms enjoyed by all Americans, which is no small reason I am now a proud citizen of the United States.  

But I have to say that I can't believe what I've seen going on in your community lately.  I just read some of the letters published in the 2/4 edition of the Goffstown News, and a few from previous weeks.  I can only imagine what's in yesterday's edition.  All I can say is, what's wrong with you people?  I see nothing but bickering and name calling among you, and it's all because of people expressing their opinions or taking positions on your local issues that some others don't like.  In and of itself, disagreement is OK, but I'm seeing private citizens blasting elected officials who are your own neighbors, and even private citizens blasting each other!  And some of the letters are are so vicious and personal!

From what I know of my adopted country, the right to express our opinions is a constitutional one - ever heard of the First Amendment?  It seems some of you haven't.  Let me educate you: It is about freedom of speech and freedom of the press.  I don't deny your right to express your opinions on your websites and in your newspapers.  Why are some of you trying to deny the same for others?  Why can't you respect each other's rights to take a position on something without resorting to lies and insults?  You don't have to agree with each other, just respect each other's right to free speech and press.  You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

There are letters being published on both sides of your current budget and tax issues that make me think some of you should move to Tijuana for a few months and try insulting or even disagreeing with public officials there - you wouldn't last very long.  Or how about writing something detracting your neighbors?  That would probably get you a few bullet holes in your front door.

It's obvious that you take your rights and freedoms for granted, and have lost sight of the whole point of your local government:  it is supposed to be one of the people, by the people, for the people.  And that means if you don't like what the people you elected to office are doing, then vote them out next time.  But meanwhile, at least respect that they cared enough to run for public office and try to make a difference in your community, whether you agree with what they're doing or not.  

And if you don't like what your friends and neighbors are saying about the issues, then write in and express your point of view.  But can't you do it without your grade-school name calling and twisted truths?

You have disappointed me as a community, Goffstown, one I used to hold up to my friends and neighbors here as being an example of true Americana.  From what I'm seeing, I was wrong.

Cesar Villanueva
El Cajon, CA 


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