An act of love


To the Editor

On a beautiful summer day a few weeks ago, I volunteered to sit in the exhibition booth of the Cedar County Democrats at the Cedar County Fair in Tipton. I expected to speak with fairgoers about presidential candidates and policy issues. It was a slow day and I only had four visitors in my three-hour shift.

The first three were older white men who arrived individually. Each sat beside me and called me “filth” and other derogatory names and spewed racial epithets, profanity and hate speech. The fourth visitor was an older white woman who stood outside the booth and screamed at the top of her lungs, “Murderer! Murderer!”

I rose and approached, “Fellow Catholic?” She screamed in response: “You can’t be a Catholic and a Democrat. Murderer.”


“Well, I have a baptismal certificate,” I responded. I am a 77-year-old white woman and not a sentimental patriot, living as a child through the hatred of the McCarthy era and the fear of the Cold War. A protester for 15 years of the Vietnam War and a foot soldier in the Civil Rights and women’s movements.

I was not really prepared for the hatred and disgust of 2019 America, fueled at the highest levels in government.

An opportunity, finally, to meet and greet people I am obligated by faith to love. Among other effects, it strengthens my love for my country as I hope to make her good again. I can do so by exercising my right and duty to vote.

Clara Oleson
West Branch


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