From the top downward, a trend of free-wheeling negative comments prevails. Social media is the tool of choice of tax-paid elected officials who post biased and incendiary comments and incite violence. Mr. Trump watches the Fox 'News' propaganda machine much of the morning, then spends much of his time on the Tweeter insulting anyone who dares oppose or cross him.

On a more local level, Commissioner Arlene Tuck and Lake Placid Police Chief James Fansler post derogatory and volatile posts on Facebook that mock non-white cultures and that send dog whistles to encourage violence. Mr. Fansler's response, when confronted was, "get a laugh or move on." My response is, I think not! I will do neither.

The First Amendment is not unfettered and comes with consequences. As elected officials supported by the tax dollar, you are accountable for the things you do and say. When Mr. Trump posts a ridiculous, degrading and/or false comment, the adoring crowds howl at the moon in sheer delight and hail him as some exalted folk hero. I hope this misguided thinking doesn't filter down to our local officials without it being called out for what it is.

Long ago I quit reading Mr. Fansler's comments in the paper as he is one of many who uses his religion to cloak his dark side. That too, has become all too common. According to today's Highlands News Sun, I am not alone in my disappointment at this vulgar behavior. We all have a right to free expression. We all are also accountable for that expression.

Horace Markley

Sebring