I am going to begin my letter with a series of caveats: I do not have children; I do not live in Fargo, thus I do not have any direct tie to the recall of the school board members. I do not even really care much whether or not the recall is successful. So why, you may ask, am I even bothering to take the time out of my day to write this letter in the hopes of The Forum actually publishing it for you to see? Because I do happen to have direct experience with something you mention in your own letter – oppression and tyranny. You see, I am a member of the US Armed Forces – at this point I am legally obligated to provide my final caveat: this article is solely the opinion of the author and in no way represents an official stance or policy endorsed by the Department of Defense or any derivative thereof.

I have fought to secure freedoms for oppressed peoples in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan against tyrannical regimes and dictators, but what keeps me up at night isn’t the people in those places or the horrors they survive day in and day out. It’s seeing fear, distrust, outrage, and yes, even tyranny and oppression, sneaking into my homeland and threatening our way of life. Maybe you don’t see it. Maybe you’re choosing not to. That isn’t for me to decide. What I can do, however, is encourage you to try and see things from another point of view. Maybe rather than writing letters to the editor deriding and berating your fellow citizens your time would be better spend ensuring that “silent majority” you are so certain you belong to is mobilized and prepared to participate in the exercise of their free right to vote in the recall election. But what do I know? I don’t have any skin in the game. Best of luck to you.

Kent Johnson lives in Minot, N.D.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.