The Chicago Tribune Wednesday published a Letter to the Editor by Richard Porter, a lawyer in Chicago and Illinois’ National Committeeman to the Republican National Committee. The edits to Porter’s letter substantially changed its tone if not its entire meaning, so we are publishing it here as he wrote it:

Freedoms of religion, speech, assembly and to petition government to redress grievances are the first, and perhaps most fundamental, of our Bill of Rights and were on display as thousands of Illinoisans came out over the weekend to protest Governor Pritzker’s one-man rule.

The protests are organic, grass-roots protests. People made their own signs reflecting passion for liberty and anger over Pritzker’s arbitrary and unreasonable rules.  Protestors demanded policies protecting those most at risk from Covid-19 without infringing the liberty of citizens less at risk — and they demand the same freedoms that the Governor’s own family enjoys. This is the First Amendment at work: concerned citizens petitioning the Governor to respect and protect fundamental rights and using words to provoke and hopefully persuade.

Speakers in Springfield were standing next to a statue of Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln knew, and we should bear in mind, that pursuing the right thing in the wrong way weakens a cause.  He would urge those of us opposing Pritzker to “have faith that right makes might” and therefore to temper anger, but not resolution, in any fight for what’s right, true and just.

In that spirit: it’s just wrong to compare J.B. Pritzker or his governance to the Nazis.   It is deeply offensive to use the swastika symbol or to caricature Pritzker or any other American political opponent with a Hitler mustache — and that Nazi analogies are used so frequently by others does not make this ok.

Richard Porter

The scurrilous, offensive and frequent Nazi name-calling Democrats and some media figures employ against Republicans in general and Trump in particular is equally appalling.  For example, just a few weeks ago, House Democrat Majority Whip Jim Clyburn outrageously compared Republican Trump supporters to German Nazi supporters.  Nazi name-calling is wrong no matter who does it.

We need to always remember the unprecedented evil, slaughter and suffering that Nazi rule begat and never trivialize it or disrespect its victims by using it as a shorthand meme for attacking another American with whom we disagree. Just don’t do it. Ever.

Speak freely, but know this: Nazi comparisons offend and don’t persuade. Our cause will be undercut when one sign out of a hundred is wrong — that sign will be news and will define the character of everyone associated with the protest.  Fair or not, we need to be better all the time in order to earn the chance to govern and prove it.  When in doubt, protest the way Lincoln would: with wit — and with malice toward none, with charity for all and with firmness in the right.

Richard Porter is a lawyer in Chicago and Illinois’ National Committeeman to the Republican National Committee

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Sandra Gudausky
2 months ago

As with anyone else i dont care what you think. Just because you are an attorney and from chicago doesnt mean your right. We are citizens of United States of America meaning free speech. Maybe if his actions didnt replica those actions of the nemisis he wouldnt bw called such.

Paul
2 months ago

I agree with this sentiment in general terms, and remember the old adage about political discourse: whoever brings up the nazis first, loses. In the case of the Trump administration, however, the comparisons have historical merit. Like Hitler, Trump was considered a buffoon and a laughingstock before he took office. Like Hitler he has made unprecedented power grabs through executive fiat, and by claiming absolute immunity from the law he has discarded the checks and balances written into our Constitution. Also like Hitler, he inspires his followers by dishing up hatred and vitriol for those he considers to be less… Read more »

debtsor
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Congratulations! Not only do you lose, you win the dumbest comment of the day!

The Truth Hurts
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

“most experts now say that the Trump administration’s lack of preparedness and poor response has added tens of thousands of deaths ”

Completely false. Most experts have stated that 70-80% of the population is going to get this virus. The whole point of flattening the curve was to not overwhelm the hospitals and be short ventilators for the ICU. None of that ever happened. Not one person died because of Trump. Where are your experts? Cite your sources where Trump is responsible for any deaths. Pathetic.

debtsor
2 months ago

Thanks yous The Truth Hurts! KAG 2020

Paul
2 months ago

This is from the New York Times yesterday: https://nyti.ms/2ZoNGzA I assume this is where you decry the NYT as fake news? “If the United States had begun imposing social-distancing measures one week earlier in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the pandemic, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers.” You could make the argument that since Trump never exhibited the leadership or integrity required to issue a lockdown (I know, I know, “States’ Rights”– tell that to Michigan voters) he technically can’t be held responsible. But every single person in America has listened to him… Read more »

Stv-Oh
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Paul: google “Dr Fauci feb 29 on Today Show”, 6 minute interview on NBC Today site, then get back to us and apologize.

Stv-Oh
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Paul: Send that to Rachel Maddow, she’s always looking for creative writers with 100% TDS.
PS: Trump has broken no laws and done nothing but UPHOLD the Constitution. And since you think he was a buffoon and laughingstock, before becoming President, I recommend you read his 2015 book “Crippled America” . He’s been thinking and analyzing the quite obvious problems of our country for many years, and those improvements/fixes in his book, are exactly what he campaigned on, and governed to address. Read it.

James
2 months ago
Reply to  Stv-Oh

You actually think Trump WROTE a book–any book for that matter? No way, Jose! He has ghost writers for that and only signs the result, almost assuredly with no more than skimming it at best. He’s neither a listener nor a reader, and I’ll bet his college transcripts would prove he wasn’t much of a student either. Why else would he ban their release and even threaten lawsuits should that happen! He only got in and graduated from college because of his father’s large bribery-inspired donations to make it so, the same process used to get him his bone-spurs deferment… Read more »

debtsor
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Funny how you deride Trump yet defend The Fat Anointed One. Hypocrite.

James
2 months ago
Reply to  debtsor

You’ll have to remind me where I did that since I don’t recall it at all. I’ve neither derided him nor prasied him unless you can give me evidence to the contrary. By the way I’ll assume “The Fat Annointed One” applies to our governor rather than our stable genius president who “knows the best words” and is “like very smart.”

Susan
2 months ago

I think what people are trying to communicare is the severity of the situation, in their belief that a fanatical single governor seizing sole power of determinant discretion over the life or death of personal livelihoods would fit a particular definition of nazi. According to Dictionary.com, an acceptable yet offensive denition of nazi is: A person who is fanatically dedicated to or seeks to regulate a specified activity, practice, etc.: a jazz nazi who disdains other forms of music; health nazis trying to ban junk food. Nazi[ naht-see, nat- ]SHOW IPA noun, plural Na·zis. a member of the National Socialist… Read more »

Lana
2 months ago

How about the word Racist so many Democrats and hard core leftists throw out so frequently because others do not agree with them! This is Hogwash!

NB-Chicago
2 months ago

Great letter!!! Thank you wp for posting un-edited version.

debtsor
2 months ago

Citing Godwin’s law and declaring the winner would be better way.

And in all honesty, we don’t even know if those hitler signs were plants. There’s no pictures and they were wearing masks.

Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  debtsor

There has been a lot of chatter that they were plants ! There was a video posted with supposed proof on Amy Jacobsens FB page but I could not view it.