Hannah Arendt once proclaimed: “Freedom of opinion is a farce unless factual information is guaranteed and the facts themselves are not in dispute.”

According to this stated definition, John Balentine’s “opinion” piece (“What’s a conservative to do?”, Jan. 29) is a farce. Why? He has utterly failed to guarantee his provision of factual material to buttress his arguments.

Contrary to Mr. Balentine’s “opinion,” here are some facts: Trump lost the 2020 national election, Trump has been impeached twice (once for sedition), there was no voter fraud in the 2020 national election and Democrats, rather than Trump Republicans (conservatives), are implementing programs to stabilize the economy while fostering initiatives to enhance our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To keep conservatism alive, Mr. Balentine provides a list of “to-do things.” Instead of undertaking his party-serving list, most American citizens could: volunteer to assist the needy; donate funds to the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, food banks, etc.; write letters to the editor (with facts, rather than opinions); and watch and listen to media/media platforms dedicated to facts and truth (i.e., Maine Public/PBS, politifact.com, etc.).

Trump’s Republican Party has created a Pinocchio, a wooden puppet (Mr. Balentine), who cannot tell the truth. In the real tale, Geppetto fashions a wooden puppet, who later becomes a real boy, who proclaims: No more lies. In his opinion piece, Mr. Balentine (the wooden puppet) states “… keep conservatism’s eternal flame burning bright.” With his nose growing, what he really means is: Keep stoking the fires of insurrection by maintaining a continuous diatribe against all that is factual and true.

John M. Mishler