The coronavirus has given we the people a great gift, the gift to see what it’s like living under socialism.

Empty shelves in grocery stores are common in socialist countries, as is less selection on shelves. Socialists also enjoy giving orders from the leaders in government that we must comply with or face fines or even arrest while they get a free pass.

The lockdowns that have happened across America have meant that we, the free people of America, have accepted the government telling us what we can do, where, when and with whom — in matters that used to be considered part of our right to choose.

One pattern I’m noticing during this socialist existence is that states with Republican governors are using more common sense. Five states did not shut down for this virus. All five have Republican governors. Five more states started loosening restrictions a few weeks into the shutdown. All five have Republican governors.

This is a pattern that is worth noting. Come November we hit the polls again to cast assorted votes. Seems to me if you want to keep your company and your job and your savings in the future, your best bet is voting for someone with an (R) associated with his/her name.

Lynn Goldhammer, Pinehurst

Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page:

(22) comments

ken leary

So Jim, do you or do you not approve of the sanctions placed on Venezuela? You have stated in the past that you agree with USA policy in this regard. And just to clue you in, sanctions do cause unnecessary deaths. We did have this conversation. You can't have it both ways whether i'm a "loon" or not. As far as Mark goes, he has once again exhibited his lack of intellectual capacity by resorting to childish insults; but I thoroughly enjoy his effort. I also appreciate that he has taken enough interest in me to follow my career. Thank you for the "attention."

Anne Spohn

We can’t get an answer to the most basic question. Where do we get TESTED?

Carol Hoffman

After reading the premise that states led by governors of one political party were better off, I became interested in finding out if there are any correlations yet between degrees of restrictiveness in states and death rates and “curve flattening” (lowering new case doubling rates).

I found an interesting study conducted by employees of that includes a chart that may interest you (scroll down to the chart called “COVID-19 Death Rates vs. Restrictions”). . (They also have a section on their methodology). On another website I found an interactive chart showing case doubling rates, state by state and the national average: .

It should not be surprising to find that states with high rates of death (per 100,000) are also showing the most restrictions. Is there any sign that restrictions are helping them to reduce case doubling rates over the states with fewer restrictions? Some. The 2 states with the highest death rates (and restrictions) show 3-4 times better “flattening” than the national average. How about the states with fewer restrictions? It is true that 8/10 of the least restricted states have Republican governors, but they are not showing better than average “flattening” rates for the most part (exceptions: Idaho and Missouri). The one state with lower restrictions that shows 12 times better than average case lowering rates has a Democratic governor. It is also very rural with low density population.

I write this to encourage readers to reduce the inflammatory rhetoric that continues our political polarization and to pay attention to facts. There are no magic bullets of “restrict/don’t restrict”. North Carolina is smack dab in the middle of the data. Yes, we have more restrictions and have lower death rates per 100,000, but our case doubling rate is right at the national average. When results are “mixed” it is likely that other factors are involved in outcomes (such as population density).

Until we have more effective treatment and a vaccine we must do what is logical to reduce viral spread - maintain social distance. Would better (e.g. N-95 grade) masks help? Can we get them made? Let’s work together to reduce spread so that we CAN safely interact in public. Pointing fingers doesn’t help.

Jim Tomashoff

Carol, Kent has absolutely no interest in "facts." With him everything is predicated on his ideology, an extreme right-wing libertarian interested only in the total exercise of his "freedom," with no interest or belief that he has any kind of larger social responsibilities towards others. This attitude leads to his utter lack of concern that his actions could harm, even kill others. Add to this his abiding belief that the "deep state" is exploiting Covid-19 as part of a larger conspiracy to undermine Trump and his policies. The end result is a selfish and arrogant know-it-all. That's our Kent.

Carol Hoffman

Agree, though I was actually responding to Lynn's letter to the editor in this case.

Jim Tomashoff

Kent/Lynn same mindset. Same mindless assertions. Patayto/Potato, right?

Ric Mayle

Peyton and Frank nailed it. However people like Betsey will never get it. If she doesn't want to take the time to look at both side and listen to FACTS, it is impossible to get her to see the real truth. Very sad commentary on these Americans but more importantly, it is very scary for the future of our country.

ken leary

Excellent example of someone, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson keeps telling me, who knows just enough to think they know what they are talking about, but not enough to know they are wrong. How do the grocery shelves look under fascism Lynn? How do the grocery shelves look when people are kept under the boot heel of a so called "democracy" like, say, Israel, or the USA regarding Venezuela? You have any insights?

Dan Roman

So Israel and the USA are "so called" democracies now, as opposed to Venezuela?

Classic example of what Tyson observed.

ken leary

Israel is an apartheid, racist government. Not a democracy by any stretch of the imagination. In Venezuela the USA is illegally and purposely trying to punish a population through deprivation into overthrowing their "democratically" elected government so the corporatists can regain access to their unique oil reserves. This is a well know pattern of U.S. behavior in Latin America. The USA has gone so far as to "appoint" an unelected President for the purpose of undermining the "democratically" elected Maduro government. Guaido the unelected, imperialist appointed, pseudo president has been welcomed in DC by both political entities. So yes, we are a "so called" democracy in that we are not motivated by human, but by economic interests. Hence the new, possible coronation, of a lamp post as opposed to a carnival barker for POTUS.

Just ask Jim T.. He has an acceptable number of infant deaths which will occur in Venezuela due to the sanctions we impose. Madeleine's number was 500,000 in Iraq. We democracy(ed) the heck out of them. Whose Tyson?

Jim Tomashoff

"Just ask Jim T.. He has an acceptable number of infant deaths which will occur in Venezuela due to the sanctions we impose." What on Earth are you talking about? I don't ever recall commenting on Venezuela about anything. You are a total loon.

Betsey Mitchell

Our current circumstance has little to do with politics. We are experiencing the outcome of an administration unwilling to act in January when first informed of the coming infections. Sounds a lot like the man who refuses to go to the doctor until the pain is unbearable then dies from a very curable illness. Early detection and early action saves lives and in the case of Covid-19 could have saved our economy. Meanwhile your preferred leadership stands at the podium and blames China, blames governors, blames the media. Doesn't sound much like leadership to me.

Dan Roman

Our parents and grandparents survived:

WW I 20 Million dead

Spanish Flu 50M dead

Great Depression 25% unemployment, 27% decline in world GDP country almost collapsed

WW II 75M dead

Korean War 5M dead

Annual polio epidemics

Vietnam War 4M dead

Cold War

Cuban Missile Crisis - close to nuclear war

All you are being asked to do is stay home & if you can't or won't wear a mask and social distance.

Pogo was and is right: We have met the enemy and it is (some) of us.

Peyton Cook

That’s not all we are being asked to do. Many who have been asked to close their jobs, such as hair salons have lost their livelihood. They have to feed kids, pay mortgages or rent and other bills with no incomes. There is no reason that they cannot reopen following the recommenced guidelines. We have a Governor who refuses to delegate authority to the counties and towns.

Jim Tomashoff

But Peyton, have you not heard of Trump's (well actually Congresses) Payroll Protection Plan? According to the Government: "The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities." And indeed, business can "...reopen following the recommended guidelines." Trump's CDC has promulgated such guidelines, which include two weeks of steadily reduced numbers of Covid-19 in a given state. No state, to date, has met this guideline. Of course this fact didn't stop Trump from denouncing his own Administration's policies in this regard. As a long-time critic of creeping Government socialism I expect to read your denouncement of this Plan. When will you comment with your opposition to this plan?

Peyton Cook

Go back and look at the timeline.,The Democrats view this pandemic as an chance to damage the President. The President did act on January 29; when he announced the formation of the Coronavirus Task Force. Prior to that date Dr. Fauci was saying the virus was of little risk to the US. on January 31 the President closed our borders to anyone in China. On the same day Biden criticized the closing the border, calling it “hysterical xenophobia”.

Jim Tomashoff

Peyton, check out this vetted timeline. Trumpy Dummy doesn't come out so good when you actually account for correct dates and brief non-political summaries on each date noted. But you'll discount it, of course. I don't think I've ever had dealings of any kind with someone as willfully ignorant as yourself.

Frank Staples

So Betsey...if you'll put aside your hatred for a second maybe you'll tell me what president in our history has acted quicker or more forcefully? Maybe for SARS? Maybe H1N1? Swine Flu? Anything? Because I'm old and while my memory sure ain't what it used to be I believe that trump acted very quickly!! I think your TDS induced hatred is misplaced just like those who say that trump is guilty of killing the china virus victims. I think that's just liberal hatred coming out and Frank Lisco will probably join in shortly!

Mark Hayes

Betsey Mitchell... It is always about politics, your own comment has confirmed that. As for China being blamed, well that may have more truth than not, Dr Li Wenliang supposedly warned of the unknown virus possible threat, that information was suppressed, which may have contributed to the conditions and circumstances that most of the world is now experiencing. These circumstances do come at a critical and advantageous time for those seeking political prominence, a time that criticism by the non participants in the decision making can ridicule and use their own hindsight plan, or the woulda,coulda,shoulda pandemic preparedness plan. Soon you will be able to have your preferred leadership stand at the podium, maybe he can explain why in all his decades as a Senator and 8 years as a VP, there was no real plan by him, or his administration that would have prepared us. Truth is, you cannot prepare for the unknown, you face it and gain from the experience.

ken leary

I originally commented because the lady extrapolated her fantasy of "socialism" from her observation of empty shelves in our local supermarkets. Denial, blame shifting, and obvious ignorance were evident in her comments. Now Mark, doubles down on the limits of reason needed for critical thinking. "Truth is" Mark, reasonable people "prepare for the unknown" and the examples are easily shown: Fire Dept., Police Dept., education, hospitals and EMTs, etc.. Take our politicians for example. Look how they prepared for the unknown by passing a law which prevented people from suing employers who force them back to work. Employers don't know if people will become infected, but they want to be "prepare(d)" to not be responsible. And our imperialist war machine, your beloved, is that preparation for the "unknown", or just part of the neocon/neoliberal grand plan?

Mark Hayes

If I had addressed my comment to Ken Leary, then I could expect a response, but like several others that troll this site in an attempt to find some sense of belonging, you again have inserted yourself into the mix, for what reason I can only guess, the need for attention. And Ken, you are still an inept and socially dysfunctional individual who seems to like to share your miserable life with those that you must have some belief that they care what you think. The lack luster life of a former wood butchering, nail bending wanna bee. You stay miserable, as sure as the sun rises and sets, you obviously will have some asinine reply, but don't bother on my account, I have a busy day ahead and it does not include any idiots, so that counts you out.

Jim Hart

Mark, there was, indeed, a pandemic plan left behind by the Obama Administration. Even Mitch McConnell acknowledged this after he said there wasnt such a plan and then corrected himself. Why didnt the Trump Administration follow it? Or better yet, why havent they even mentioned it???

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