Craig Wiesner

Craig Wiesner

When the Supreme Court ordered Florida to stop counting votes in Bush vs. Gore, I was heartbroken.

I felt it was a flawed decision and my candidate lost. My mother had been disenfranchised in Broward County, when a poll worker refused to give her a replacement for her chad-damaged ballot, telling her “If you’re too stupid to figure out how to vote you don’t deserve to vote.” Apparently she and hundreds of other Jewish-American voters somehow voted for Pat Buchannon, with enough of his chads giving the election to Bush. Despite the disappointment, the clear evidence of serious problems in Florida, Vice President Al Gore eventually conceded, and graciously read the Electoral College results, naming George W. Bush president. 

I didn’t call for violence in the streets. I didn’t join many who said Bush was “not my president.” I was actually grateful we had a democracy that could withstand glitches, a balance of powers that could peacefully, though raucously overcome differences. My vow was to do all I could to make sure that hanging chads never sullied another election and to that any candidate I supported won by a whopping margin. 

In this year’s presidential election, I know one woman who gave up her law practice and spent a year making sure anyone in Georgia who wanted to vote was able to. I know another who headed to Pennsylvania to work with her siblings to get out the vote. I know countless people who wrote postcards, phone banked, volunteered and donated money. I also know countless people whose first choice for the Democratic nominee was NOT Joe Biden. When the primary dust settled, Joe and Kamala were the ticket and virtually everyone I know was fully on board that train. And, every Democrat I know who watched the Democratic convention felt inspired, encouraged, motivated and glad that we had collectively picked a great pair of nominees of whom we could be proud.

As Election Day neared, no matter how many polls showed the Democrats likely to win, no one allowed themselves to feel any confidence. There was not a single moment for slacking off. We kept dialing, writing, with postcards winging their way hither and yon. On election night we fretted. On the following days, we cautiously entertained hope. When the news outlets finally called the election for Joe and Kamala, we headed out and literally danced in the streets. Joe and Kamala had won by more than 7 million votes and the margins of victory in the swing states would withstand recount after recount and audit after audit. Every single claim of voter fraud made us cringe until each was clearly, compellingly and unquestionably debunked.

Yes, there are millions of Americans who are rightfully disappointed. They thought the majority agreed with them, and misled by an ever-present tweeting president, opinion writers, talk show hosts and ersatz news channels, believe the election was stolen. Despite court after court, Republican elections officials, governors, secretaries of state, attorneys general, state Supreme Courts, the FBI and the U.S. Supreme Court knocking down every conspiracy theory the way cats knock chatchkes off mantles, not only do many hold onto specious claims they now threaten violence. 

In my decades of writing, I have never uttered these words about those with whom I disagree but today I must. What you are doing, what you are espousing? What you are threatening is un-American, it borders on sedition. And, there are those around you, people with whom you work, family, friends, neighbors, who are deeply concerned about you. If despite all the information available to any rational person you believe that Donald J. Trump won in a landslide, that the COVID death rates are fake, that COVID is no more dangerous than the flu, you are no different than someone who believes the moon is made of cheese, the moon landing was faked, Elvis is still alive and the Earth is flat. Seriously, those who know and love you see you that way and have no clue how to reintegrate you into their lives. 

I beg you to stop. Stop enabling people who, in fact, will take violent action in response to crazy beliefs. Bemoan the results of this election, decry the fact that there were around 7 million more people who went the other way, dedicate yourself to whatever legitimate peaceful and legal work it might take to make the next election go your way, and take some time to find a way to reconcile with those with whom you disagreed this time. Your friends like you. Your family loves you. Your co-workers have to work alongside you. Your country needs you. We need each other. Let’s move on and continue the work of making this a more perfect union. 

Craig Wiesner is the co-owner of Reach And Teach, a book, toy and cultural gift shop on 25th Avenue in San Mateo.

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(26) comments

Christopher Conway

Just Mikey, I will take that $5k bet but then again who even knows who you are. How would I collect the money? You still are the Anonymous Twit and now you are stalking another person. It is time the SMDJ take a good look at you and question if you are fit to be commenting on this site. Every comment you make is about me and I don't even contribute anymore, I have personally reported you to see if maybe you will get the message. .

Terence Y

Actually, Mr. Conway, you should raise the bet to at least $100k. Since I’m local, I’ll volunteer to be the escrow holder. As long as the money (cash only) shows up I don’t care how it gets to me, whether the Anonymous Twit shows up in person, or not. BTW, Happy New Year and thanks for the “cameo” in our fair newspaper.

Ray Fowler

Mr. Wiesner

Thank you for your comments. I disagree with a lot of what you have to say... I feel your perspective lays the responsibility for bringing Americans together at the feet of conservatives as if liberals bear no obligation to try to make things better.

While I was encouraged by Joe Biden saying (shortly after the election) he wanted to unify Americans, I was dismayed to hear some in the MSM and some prominent Democrats call for retaliation against Trump supporters. How is that unifying? A Biden appointee hurls F-bombs at conservatives... how is that unifying? In a Pew Research report just released... 10% of most active Twitter users accounted for more than 90% of tweets posted from Nov. 2019 through Sept. 2020... and 70% of the tweets posted in that period were from folks on the left side of the aisle. Do you think those tweets were collegial, collaborative and in the spirit of trying to unify Americans?

Let's get back to Joe Biden... he can set the tone for reconciliation. The question is... will he do so? If not, I would expect conservatives to rail against his administration in the same fashion liberals challenged Donald Trump on a daily basis. If Joe does encourage unifying Americans, perhaps we will see a different (and better) 2021. I hope so.

What do you think Joe Biden can do now to achieve his goal of unification?


Thank you! Overall I'm hoping that President-Elect Biden and his administration will help lower the overall temperature in the country by behaving in a more thoughtful and collaborative manner and that, as he has throughout his life, will let kindness and compassion be what he leads with. We've been through a horrible year, with wildfires, a pandemic, an economic crisis, violence, terrible isolation, and the loss of too many saints.

Thanks for sharing that you felt I was putting too much emphasis on what "conservatives" have to do to heal the rift. Fair enough. We ALL have a responsibility to heal the divides.

A key thing that a great peacemaker once taught me was that in order for there to be peace, each of us has to see a place for the other in our future. I see conservatives, in the classic definition of that term, in my future as they have been throughout my life.

Tommy Tee

Excellent LTE! You captured many of our thoughts. It's a knock on democracy with all the protests and baseless fraud allegations, and we're two months post election day! The sore losers are setting up a precedent. From now on ANY time people don't like the results of an election, they should go on a two month rampage of frivolous lawsuits based on wacky conspiracies? Corrupt Trump calls up Georgia and tries to get the SOS to fabricate votes. What an embarrassment.

Ray Fowler

Hello, Tommy

You wrote, "The sore losers are setting up a precedent." Would that apply to sore losers from 2016?


So, Ray, when will the loop end? One could ask the same sore losers question for the elections of 2008 and 2102. The R's spent 8 years of defying everything that had Obama's name on it.

Ray Fowler

The loop can end now.

Are you seriously comparing R reactions to the Obama administration's eight years against the MSM's daily barrages over the past four years plus House committees chasing Russian collusion and partisan driven impeachment proceedings?

Barack Obama entered the White House with high hopes and a majority in the House and Senate. That's all good. But what happened? The D's lost 1,000 legislative seats in the first half of his tenure. The D's lost control of Congress. Why do you that happened?

Tommy Tee

Ray--I don't recall over two months of not accepting the results, numerous lawsuits and protests. Do you?

Ray Fowler


I have said several times (over a period of eight weeks) that Joe Biden is the president-elect and his inauguration will occur on Jan. 20. As an NPPer, I have accepted those results.

While I don't speak for R's... there are a lot of R's out there who don't accept those results. They believe they have good reason to doubt election results, and there are some irregularities with D fingerprints on them that have fanned those flames. Lawsuits have been filed and there have been protests... not quite like the left inspired "protests" we saw last summer... but protests nonetheless. Are you suggesting there is a cap on lawsuits? If so, how many can a political party file? Are you saying there should be a limit to the number of protests? If so, where is that statutory limitation on the right to assemble?

With what's going on and what may happen tomorrow... perhaps a Johnny Cash lyric that I inserted into a post a couple of weeks ago describes where you're at... "I don't like it but I guess things happen that way." Maybe not.


I recall a lot of shocked libs saying "he's not my president." Don't recall lawsuits but I remember this sort of thing:

Anti-Trump protests, some violent, erupt for 3rd night nationwide › news › nation › 2016/11/11

Nov 11, 2016 — Protesters gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, the third night ... successful presidential election" but now "professional protesters, .


Yes, Ray, I am seriously comparing R's reactions to Obama to Trump's 4 years. The R's did, in fact, do everything they could to say NO to Obama. Mueller did find significant collusion on 10 different instances, and Trump was rightfully impeached. If the R's had a spine and didn't become both judge and jury in the Senate without calling any significant witnesses, Trump would have been removed from office. The mind boggles as to how much better the country would have been if he had been fired. Thousands of Covid lives might have been saved.

What happened with Obama? He succeeded in passing a version of universal healthcare which decades of prior presidents tried and failed to do. The electorate did not like the program at first and expressed their displeasure through votes. Now, over time, the public has seen the plan at work and overwhelmingly like it.

Ray Fowler

This looks a lot like D talking points, and I'm sure you believe them. That's OK.

Terence Y

Mr. Wiesner, where was this letter four years ago and anytime since your great President Trump was elected? Seems that the TDS-infected didn’t move on and definitely have not made the US a more perfect union. Where is your tirade against the idiot BLM and Antifa goons who actually have taken violent action against fellow Americans? Please first educate yourself before including hyperbolic bellyaching about sedition and being un-American. It’s funny you ask people to move on and make this a more perfect union, yet you write a letter full of divisiveness. Your decades of writing must not have included any pieces on making persuasive arguments.

Tommy Tee



Terence, "a letter full of divisiveness". Did you read the letter in its entirety? Mr. Wiesner asks us to come together for the common good.

Trump "great president". You mean the one who breaks state and federal laws by asking the Georgia SOS to obliterate votes and undermine one of the pillars of our democracy? You mean the one who was impeached? You mean the one who lied over 20K times? You mean the one that 200 presidential historians have pronounced Trump to be the worst president of all time?

Terence Y

With his TDS-rant, I guess Rel doesn't believe in Mr. Wiesner's message of coming together for the common good, or Rel doesn't understand what "common good" means.


So, Terrence, rather than attack the messenger, how about adding relevant commentary on the message.

Patrick Henry

Craig, you can beg all you want but I can guarantee that those of us who support Donald Trump and saw how the left treated him even before he took office will just laugh at your plea. You seem like a nice enough guy but after four years, there is no way we reconcile with the same people who berated our president and his supporters the entire four years as president. Sorry Craig, there will be no coming together and you can expect the same level of hostility from half the country toward Biden as was the case with the entire presidency of Trump.

Consider this a payback time and now your side gets to feel the unending scrutiny and criticism the left dished out for the past four years.


Wow Christopher, anger management folks would have a field day with your deep rooted psychosis. Seek some help and abide by your family's wishes, take a step back and 'check' yourself with your foreboding post to this gentleman.

Patrick Henry

Go ahead keep calling me Christopher whoever he is. You are one strange person my friend whoever you are. Seems to me you that you are little obsessed with this Mr. Conway person. Are you mentally stable because I have my doubts about you.



For what it is worth I don't think you are Christopher even though your wording and style is identical to his. You signed up as George so I figure that is who you are. As for your comments, I have asked you before if you have found a mirror yet because you really need to look at it.

Terence Y

Patrick, a little background. Before you came on board, JustMikey was Chris’ “anonymous twit” puppy, making stalker-type comments and personal attacks following almost all of Chris’ comments. JustMikey seems fixated that you're Chris, posting under an anonymous username. My condolences if JustMikey has glommed onto you. He’s just looking for another master. JustMikey, along with Taffy here, usually write nothing of importance and you can ignore them. As you can read, they’re both easily triggered and they both project their insecurities and flaws onto you. Keep on melting those snowflakes.

Ray Fowler

Hey, Terence

Well, I actually enjoy thrusting and parrying with Tafhdyd. I understand his perspective, and sometimes we agree on items in the news. I cannot speak to the history between other readers. However, I don't put much stock in comments that are just "drive-bys." They don't bring a lot to the discussion...


Patrick aka C Conway, I have 5 K that says PH and CC are the same person. Ball is in your court.



In the words of the great Bill King, "Holy Toledo". Talk about someone that says nothing and projects onto others? You better find a mirror soon and take a hard look.

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