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Newsmaker of the month: Signs of division are very evident

This sign on Porter Road has drawn the ire of neighbors. OBSERVER Photo by Jo Ward

Discourse in America is not what it used to be. Today, many are not as welcoming of other points of view. Instead, they choose to stay in bubbles where what they believe becomes an echo chamber.

In the last decade, lines have been drawn — in terms of party choice and where people get their information. CNN is blue, Fox is red. There is no in between.

Even in northern Chautauqua County, some are troubled when items appear that do not mesh with their way of thinking. Earlier this month, the Fredonia Village Board heard about signs critical of President Joe Biden and the Democratic party, which included a finger salute.

For elected leaders, that is a touchy subject. No matter how offensive, the messages are protected by freedom of speech. For a village to condemn the signs, it would open a Pandora’s box. That is why neighbors asked the code enforcement office to consider if the sign violated a zoning ordinance due to its size.

Again, another uncomfortable position for the village– but much easier to enforce.

Besides the sign with the finger, the other sign on Porter Road makes fun of the current commander-in-chief for his age. The sign has a charicature of Biden with the words “Silver Alert.”

America would have never characterized President Ronald Reagan in that sort of manner in the 1980s. We may not have agreed with his policies, but we respected his leadership and his standing in office.

No matter Democrat or Republican, he was our guy.

America has always been a melting pot and was founded on the beliefs of hearing other viewpoints in coming together as a nation. We’re still united — but we are very fractured.

Democrats will say it was because of President Donald Trump’s policies and insults. But Biden did us all no favors by signing numerous executive orders when taking office.

A call for unity must come from the top. It has to be more than words. It also has to include actions.

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