Nag the young people in your life to vote

Young people hate being told what to do by their parents. Ironically, if they do not listen and vote on Nov. 8, they may have more adults telling them what to do.

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Linda McCully sticks a sticker that reads, “I voted!” on her jacket after casting her ballot early at the Chicago Board of Elections’ early voting Supersite at 191 N. Clark St. in the Loop, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

A woman sticks an “I voted!” sticker on her jacket after casting her ballot early at the Chicago Board of Elections’ early voting Supersite at 191 N. Clark St. in the Loop on Oct. 7.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

To the parents, grandparents and other relatives of young adults between 18 and 34 — the demographic least likely to vote — please explain to them the importance of the upcoming midterm election.

Sixty percent of Americans will have 2020 election deniers on the ballot, even though the results of the 2020 presidential elections results were clear: Joe Biden won. Even judges appointed by Donald Trump confirmed that there was no evidence of election fraud.

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Now we have armed people posted at ballot drop-off points taking pictures of voters. We have unstable citizens taking a page out the Jan. 6 insurrectionists’ playbook and attacking elected leaders’ family members. And we have some Republicans who equate these unstable people with those who marched for Black Lives Matter.

Young people hate being told what to do by their parents. Ironically, this time if they do not listen and vote on Nov. 8, they may have more adults telling them what to do. In Pennsylvania, Mehmet Oz said “local political leaders” should be able to weigh in, along with a pregnant woman and her doctor, on whether a pregnant woman should get an abortion. Do young people want a future where a politician dictates when and whether they should have a child? And do they want a Congress filled with men and women who have no plans for the economy, health care or education? Some Republicans’ number one plan is to impeach Biden as soon as they take over the House. This is a republic? Using the people’s House for revenge?

In 1787, Benjamin Franklin was reportedly asked what type of government was selected as he exited the Constitutional Convention. “A republic, if you can keep it,” he said. Can we?

Jan Goldberg, Riverside

The law, not Elon Musk, is the problem with Twitter

Many people are wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth about what Elon Musk will do now that he owns Twitter. Most particularly, the concerns are about what “irresponsible” tweets he may permit Twitter to post.

The problem, if there is one, is not with Musk, but rather with U.S. Supreme Court rulings and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, both of which shield Musk and others similarly situated from some, or all, legal liability for what they publish and for which they would have liability under prior law.

The case New York Times v. Sullivan, as amended and extended, protects all publishers against defamation suits from “public figures” (however that term may be defined) unless there is actual malice (however that may be defined). Solibel is ok; just not malicious libel….a curious position to say the least.

Section 230 protects online publishers from liability for third-party posted pieces, thereby relieving organizations like Twitter of any obligation to exercise any editorial judgment and encouraging all manner of ridiculous comments, some benign, but sadly some malignant.

If we got rid of these limitations on liability, Musk would be encouraged to act responsibly.

William Gottschalk, Lake Forest

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