This letter was submitted by Eastern Social Studies\History Education Professor John Bickford.
I believe in logic, evidence, and expertise. There is no dispute that the elections were fair and secure; all credible sources confirm it was an honest election. There is no dispute that Mary Miller, a local and elected official, praised Hitler’s approach to teaching children; there was clear audio of her sympathizing with the world’s worst—but not only—Nazi.
It’s not disputed that Mary Miller is beholden to special interests in Washington as most campaign contributions came from dark money (House Freedom Fund: $2.2M) and not from our Coles County neighbors (about $130,000); it’s public information. Similarly, there is no dispute that Chris Miller, Mary’s husband and an elected state official, talked about a “culture war” with “dangerous Democrat terrorists” moments before the domestic terrorists (listening to Mary Miller talk about Hitler’s positives) violently and unlawfully entered the U.S. Capitol for an insurrection fomented by President Trump spouting lies about the election.
These are factual statements, much like the roundness of the earth, that some folks dismiss because they disregard evidence, logic, and expertise. There are two unknowns: Will Coles County (and America) reject the bedrock of racism, xenophobia, and political violence apparent within our society? And, will Coles County (and America) rely on expertise and evidence as we move forward?
If we will, then we must start now. And, we must rely on actual experts and not the chiropractor talking about vaccines, not the optometrist disputing the public health expert about how schools should handle reopening, and not YouTube. I challenge readers to condemn the racism, xenophobia, and political violence endemic in modern America. I encourage you all to rely on the best available evidence, logic, and credible experts.
John Bickford can be reached at [email protected]