Opinion | Susan Knopf: Do we really support our troops? | SummitDaily.com
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Opinion | Susan Knopf: Do we really support our troops?

Susan Knopf
For the Record

This is important. The president is ordering a precipitous withdrawal of our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I know. The only thing you are more sick of hearing about other than COVID-19 is probably Afghanistan. For the record, it is the longest armed conflict in U.S. history. For this reason, we cannot allow our soldiers’ lives and limbs lost on foreign soil to be for naught. The president’s view in this matter is not supported by a single member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Worse, it is rumored the short-sighted departure will likely necessitate the abandonment of weapons and materiel that we paid for, and the abandoned vehicles, perhaps tanks, will be of great use to the Taliban. Donald Trump’s desire to keep his campaign promise to end the Afghanistan war drives his order.

I am no fan of this war, but that doesn’t mean we should employ poor tactics to exit. On behalf of the service people who have sacrificed so much, on behalf of our own taxpayers’ dollars, I suggest you call Sens. Cory Gardner (202-224-5941) and Michael Bennet (202-224-5852). Surely checks and balances are not dead and the legislative branch will do its job to safeguard our country.

We simply cannot allow our foreign and military strategy to be run by caprice. Our approach must reflect the good judgment of our best advisers and not the impulse of a single person, who at the moment appears to be less than stable.

While you’re talking to your senator, tell him to pass a bill to give Biden-Harris intelligence briefings. No one will deny the president his day in court. Nor should anyone interfere with the safe transfer of power. It takes time to assimilate all the data necessary to lead our country. We want our leaders ready. The failure of the president to authorize intelligence briefings puts us at risk.

We all need to be concerned about the proliferation of wild and baseless claims of voter fraud. Just as we must respect our soldiers, we must respect the work of election workers from the secretary of state to the poll workers. If you seriously doubt the integrity of those who have spent hours training and weeks working to secure our fair elections, I encourage you to work in the next election.

I have worked as a poll watcher. The training is mind-numbing. The hours are grueling. I worked a 13-hour day. Do not think for a minute that the Georgia Republican secretary of state, or any of his Republican-appointed staff, has done one thing to supplant his party’s nominee. It’s ridiculous.

The rumors are being proliferated on a social platform that does not subscribe to the new factual standards of Facebook and Twitter. According to CNN Business, the social networking site Parler bills itself as “unbiased,” but it is becoming the new darling for the uncensored far-right and recommended by Fox commentators who have little connection to the truth.

KTVT-TV Dallas/Ft. Worth spoke with Parler users: “We don’t get censored as human beings in life, and we all have those friends that maybe are kind of off the rocker here and there,” Dallas Durham said. “As adults, we absorb that, and we take out of that what we need.”

I concur with Barack Obama’s statement to The Atlantic: “If we do not have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false, then by definition the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work. And by definition our democracy doesn’t work.”

Let’s be thankful for our democracy. Let’s care for our democracy by caring for ourselves, caring for each other (by wearing a mask and socially distancing) and caring that the information we consume is truthful, fair, honest and beneficial to all. My Rotarian friends know what I’m talking about.

And while we take note of our blessings, you may want to check out Summit Colorado Interfaith Council‘s gift of thanks. The nonprofit will debut its new YouTube channel with its Thanksgiving Interfaith Service. I’m always thankful for an opportunity to hear Leon Joseph Littlebird, who is featured along with a number of our local and diverse faith leaders and local kids all reminding us we are thankful.

This holiday, thank a soldier, a poll worker or any of the many people who serve our community so well.

Susan Knopf’s column “For The Record” publishes Fridays in the Summit Daily News. Knopf has worn many hats in her career, including working as an award-winning journalist and certified ski instructor. She moved to Silverthorne in 2013 after vacationing in Summit County since the 1970s. Contact her at sdnknopf@gmail.com.


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