Democracy demands openness to various points of view

The democratic principles that I espouse are egalitarian and pluralistic,such as those undertaken in 1789 and again in 1791 at the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

To the editor:

Despite the comments made in Ms. Stamell’s letter to the editor that misrepresent the item under discussion at last Thursday’s Planning Board meeting, or her opinion that my logic is “twisted,” or even that my academic achievements render me unable to perform my duties on the Planning Board (where have we heard that lately), what should concern all of us is Ms. Stamell’s notion of the “fundamental tenet of American Democracy.”

The democratic principles that I espouse are egalitarian and pluralistic,such as those undertaken in 1789 and again in 1791 at the ratification of the Bill of Rights. As we all should know, the Bill of Rights was necessary to appease the often lively debate over the ratification of the Constitution and add to it personal rights and freedoms which comprise the “tenet” of our rights as citizens. The first one of these amendments protects citizens practicing their right of free speech from punishments such as blacklisting, “canceling,” firings or forced resignations.

Ms. Stamell’s notion of democracy seems to suppress debate and dialogue, “tenets” that are “fundamental to American Democracy.” By asking for my resignation she is essentially wanting to eliminate a point of view that does not represent her own. I prefer to practice a form of democracy that embraces tolerance, diversity of views, that is messy and complicated, and in which Ms. Stamell’s opinions are as valued as my own.

Pedro R. Pachano
Great Barrington