Commentary

Letter to the editor

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August 20, 2023

An Open Letter to Lyon County Republican Leadership:

As Lyon County Democrats, we get it. You are currently the majority party in a sparsely populated county in northern Nevada, and obviously proud of your ability to channel support for former president Donald J. Trump. After all, Republicans in Lyon County claim the distinction of having renamed the justice center in Yerington after a man who is now facing multiple state and federal charges for election tampering. The irony of the Donald J. Trump Justice Center can’t be understated, so congratulations on that victory.

Here is our problem with your organization. When a balance of power is so obviously one-sided as currently in Lyon County, most political victories are equally as one-sided.  Any candidate with an (R) before their name is usually assured a win. Most local Republican politicians don’t have to “stump” for votes; they just know they will carry the day here. Our question, then, is why is there so much obvious animosity towards those of us here who want to support candidates or causes that may reflect a different political affiliation? What exactly are you afraid of, when you already hold the attention of a majority of voters?

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Recently, Lyon County Democrats set up a booth at the Lyon County Fair, just as we do every year. We use the booth to touch base with our fellow citizens, distribute flyers and other information, as well as making ourselves available for occasional political discussions. The fee we pay for the space helps support the event, and our presence as a political party represents the richness and diversity which makes life in our county interesting. That said, we are equally focused on helping to make the fair an enjoyable family event. Our main expense is the purchase of small toys and other treats which we pass out to children, free of charge, and free of politics.

The fair is wonderful, with a small-town feel those of us who proudly call Lyon County home look forward to every year. It is a family event which features all of the things that make people who choose to live in small towns love: parade, rodeo, livestock show, demolition derby, concerts, canned goods, quilts, local artists, carnival, and a midway full of all of the delicious food fair goers love.

Unfortunately, the small group of Democratic volunteers manning our booth didn’t get to really enjoy what the fair had to offer. We were essentially held hostage by a parade of Republicans from their booth across the exhibit hall who bombarded us with slurs against our President, our chosen political affiliation, our faiths, our military service, and our very existence. Our military members were accused of being Communists and Socialists. The teachers in our group were accused of not understanding history and not being able to understand the current state of our economy. We were forced to listen while a man not even from Lyon County, and known to be one of the 2020 fake Trump electors, bellowed Republican doctrine (but who ultimately was asked to tone it down by fair goers and vendors, most of whom were fellow Republicans). We witnessed a takeover of the pledge of allegiance directed at us, where “under God” was shouted at our booth; a booth where we proudly displayed not just our American Flag, but also the Nevada state flag and all of our military flags. One gentleman pointed out that since President Biden was at Lake Tahoe, he would gladly shoot him. This outrageous behavior so embarrassed other fair goers (again, many who were Republican) that many made a point to come and make sure we knew they weren’t responsible for it or in agreement with it.

Republicans in Lyon County are the majority, and no one knows this more than a Democrat in Lyon County. We live in an area where flags, hats, and t-shirts with offensive and often obscene slogans are displayed (and offered for sale by Republicans at many family events, such as the Lyon County Fair). Why, in a land that you so obviously control at this point, can’t you be more magnanimous in your majority? Why this type of petty, childish treatment towards those of us who have chosen a different political path? Given the embarrassment of so many of your constituents towards the behavior shown to us at the Lyon County Fair, we are not the only ones who notice that you are not very good winners.

Sincerely, Lyon County Democratic Central Committee

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