We, the Lyon County Republican Precinct Committee, would like to take a moment to show our support for a local businessman for having the courage to speak his mind.

Dan Smoots recently submitted an article to The Emporia Gazette Opinion page in support of President Trump. In his article, he stated a number of points that many in Emporia agree with.

After this article was published, there were a number of comments in the comment section of the online article that were advocating for a boycott of his business, and one went as far to say that if his company ever applied for any kind of grant or subsidized credit, that they would make sure that didn’t happen.

We in the Republican Party support a free and open exchange of ideas, but when political dialogue degrades to the level of threats and boycotts we heartily condemn such actions. The point is not lost on us that these measures have been employed on both sides of the political spectrum, but we here in Lyon County want to affirm our commitment to supporting our local businesses whether they agree with us politically or not.

Our founding fathers realized that in order to have a government that was truly “of the people and by the people,” we must be free to respectfully express our ideas and opinions in an open dialogue. When we attempt to censor people we stifle that dialogue and the problems we face never get solved.

We need to remember that we are a community of friends and neighbors and understand that we can have differing opinions while being respectful of each others’ views. That is where the roots of our freedom truly lie.

Peggy Mast,

Lyon County Republican Party Chair

(29) comments


I'll Support Free speech and a man having is own mind. Boycott? why don't the leftist business owners step up an make they're minds known , so we can have it both ways , Reebles, Bluestem, ??? why stop at fanestills ? Lets make Emporia a place where folks are scared to have a opinion an think on they're own.


I would encourage those who have not read it to read, "To An Anxious Friend" by William Allen White which earned him the 1923 Pulitzer Prize. It was published in the Gazette here: http://www.emporiagazette.com/latest_news_and_features/article_cb4600fc-cf71-11e5-aa0d-f33be1fdbe1a.html and concerns freedom of speech explaining its importance.


Those of us who disagreed with Mr. Smoots have every right to let our dollars do the talking—and saying we plan to do that does not constitute a “threat” in the way that Ms. Mast has implied. Expressing our intent to no longer support with our dollars a business whose profits may be channeled to the despot DT, is well within OUR 1st Amendment rights. I don’t know about the others who said they would boycott Fanestil’s, but my family and I have spent a significant amount of money on Fanestl products and in the Fanestil store, and I can assure you we won’t be giving Mr. Smoots another penny. That’s no threat—it’s a promise.


I'm surprised Republicans would support Fanestil. They get a lot of socialist government handouts. I guess Republicans like those sort of things now.

KB Thomas

The thing I admire about Trump and Smoots is they both can throw a lamb shop past a wolf any day of the week. No dream is to big. No challenge is to great. Nothing beyond our future is beyond our reach. Donald Trump


"lamb shop"? Really? Sounds like a Freudian slip to me. Shop? Didn't Smoots get federal aid for his SHOP? Eh KB? No wolves there, just expediency...gettin' when the gettin' is good.



Truly Remarkable


I will break down this letter by each paragraph because Peggy is unequivocally clueless.

1 – Dan did have courage to speak his mind, but he should know that there are repercussions for having an opinion regardless of what side of a debate you are on just as if it were someone speaking against Trump at a Democratic rally. As a small business owner he should have the foresight that this might have not been the best time to speak his opinion on something that really was not an issue on the Gazette in the first place.

2- If what Dan submitted to the opinion page is classified as an article than every text message a person sends is an article. There were no statistics offered nor accomplishments listed by Dan. The closest he got was saying the economy was doing well and unemployment is low. A couple of days later the Dow dropped 800 points, and JP Morgan Chase CEO as well as other top executives stated how inefficient the economy is and how we need to move away from the model we have (hardline Capitalism). To summarize, the rate we are at now it will be pointless to have corporations, banks, etc. because so many people will be unable to afford their services. What is the good of having low employment if a large % of the population cannot buy anything?


3 – This is true there were a large number of comments posted threatening to boycott the business. I do not see a comment where someone was trying to block a tax credit for Dan.

4- Peggy Mast Logic: “Republican Party support a free and open exchange of ideas, but when political dialogue degrades to the level of threats and boycotts we heartily condemn such actions” By this logic you should condemn the founding of our country; more specifically you should condemn the Boston Tea Party, you should condemn the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the 1980 Summer Olympics. Threatening to not buy something is not that bad; it is only bad in your opinion because it could hurt a member of your “party.” What is the difference when a business boycotts a certain group of customers ie baking cake for gay marriage? I respect that you are supporting a business of your choice, but it is hypocritical to be mad at someone not supporting the same business, idea, etc. as you.

5- This is all true, but I don’t think you realize no one censored Dan. If he was censored his post would have been taken down and all the comments supporting him would have been taken down. Getting called out in the comment section or people planning to stop buying your products because they didn’t like what they said is not censoring; if it was then everything you buy local it would be censoring Walmart vice versa. Newsflash it is 2019 people communicate on the internet and the comment section is open dialogue. The point of dialogue is to promote better ideas than the ones previously said and it is ironic how people who disagreed with Dan cited more statistics and hard evidence than Dan or the people who supported him did.

6- This paragraph is true, but it is extremely delusional to use this to cover up your message. People have the right to protest something from someone they do not support, and not buying something from a business is not toxic.

Final thought: According to the first amendment of the Constitution, something you like to cite, people have the right to protest. Protesting and boycotting are the same which would mean people have right to boycott. Therefore Peggy should understand people have the right to boycott, but she does not like it because it is against an outspoken Republican. This indicates to me Peggy cares more about the legendary history of the lyon county republican society than actually practicing what the most important amendment in the Constitutions says.


Well, the whole boycott was a "hoot" anyway. I don't think it would go anywhere anyway. It was probably an idle threat or maybe 6 people will boycott Fanestil, and probably 3 of them didn't shop there anyway. You are putting words in Peggy's mouth saying that she said things that she did not. A good liberal twists the truth into lies, but what Peggy says can't even be twisted, so go back and read what she said again. Boycott? An idle threat to try to shut up others. How that working? I suspect not at all. Go ahead and don't support local businesses. I suspect most do support President Trump. The more businesses that don't get support and close the less places to shop and employ people which would truly be a win for the Democrats, but not until they get that guaranteed living wage whether they work or not! I admit, I didn't read everything you wrote, it took no time to see where you were coming from. Constantly insulting the person rather than the message seems to be a thing with the liberals.


It is OK, of course, when REPUBLICANS boycott. See my Comment on this page about the DIXIE CHICKS. (Do know, however, I am a longtime CLASSIC Country Music fan, but, wasn't a fan of the Dixie Chicks Music...so, my critique is NOT because I was a huge Dixie Chicks Fan.


It's rather difficult not to insult the person who writes or says something with which you disagree. Classic argument is informed after all. You yourself admit. "I didn't read everything you wrote."

I read everything you wrote, Mr. Gypsy, and your final sentence says all I need to know about your opinions. Isn't that what Trump does, insult the person rather than the message? He insults people constantly, most recently a member of his own rally who was insulted for being overweight. A pot calling the kettle black? (Hard to resist that one). Carrying Trump's banner, right or wrong, seems to be a thing with the Republicans.


Actually, it is not difficult to attack the idea/theory/comment without attacking the person. I read enough, and it is always the same harping on and on anyway. I am confused about your bringing President Trump into the conversation, as he doesn't post here as far as I know. I just not see the connection between myself and "A pot calling the kettle black". And, I am not a "Mr." just for the record. Liberals might better spend their time trying to help their party come up with a decent candidate for the 2020 election rather than insulting both President Trump and his supporters. When one attacks the messenger and not the message, in my book, they have lost the argument. (Whether they write in an extensive essay or not.)


Sorry for the Mister. I guess it's MS gypsy. Yes, I did mean to bring Trump into the picture simply because he uses that ad hominem argument constantly.


Outstanding Commentary. I love the quote, “I admit, I didn't read everything you wrote, it took no time to see where you were coming from.” How can you give an opinion on anything if do not take the time to see, read, or hear the information fully? Basically what you do is watch movie trailers and then write full reviews about the movie online.

I did insult Peggy’s character in the final thought paragraph but prior to that I critiqued each and every one of the sentences she wrote to the Gazette. Seems to me I attacked the message more than the messenger when I reread, as did others who *fully* heard what I had to say.

You quote, “You are putting words in Peggy's mouth saying that she said things that she did not.” How do you know this when you did not even read what I wrote? Anyone with an 8th grade reading level can presume that Peggy was frustrated that people were saying they are going to boycott Fanestil. Anyone with a 8th grade level could see this when she said, “We in the Republican Party support a free and open exchange of ideas, but when political dialogue degrades to the level of threats and boycotts we heartily condemn such actions.” Anyone with an 8th grade reading level can construe from that sentence that Peggy condemns boycotting which was a significant part of the US’s history.

The whole boycotting thing was a hoot and all talk. Why did Peggy then write to the Gazette if it was all talk if she was not worried about Fanestil future in Emporia? If she was not worried she would not have wrote anything.

Your statement that most support Trump is not entirely true as in the 2016 election only 53% of Lyon County voted for Trump; not exactly most. Someone with a high school education can assume that number will drop based off recent polling numbers (not the polling numbers they only call people over landline phones over 65 or polls from strictly nursing homes).

SnowGypsy, my goal is not to change your mind because that is impossible because you simply complain to complain. You could win the PowerBall and Megamillions in the same night and still complain about something.

The time and research you put into your comments is profoundly lazy; find me a snippet where a democrat expressed this sentiment, “The more businesses that don't get support and close the less places to shop and employ people which would truly be a win for the Democrats.”

Furthermore, Peggy said on a post, “Great quote from Hitler in that video. Please listen to it closely. His words are profound! Let’s start using discernment.” How could you trust anything from her if she was half-witted enough to praise Hitler on the internet? I don’t care what the context is; she should have better judgment than that. I can only imagine what she says at meeting with those who do not challenge her thoughts.

Final note Dan wrote that article August 10; a boycott will not immediately be noticeable in terms of net income, sales, etc. It will take more time to see if a boycott – if citizens are serious – to determine whether or not it was effective.


"Life is too short" when it comes to your essays. There is challenging one's thoughts, and there is insulting the person making them - learn the difference!


Very, Very Excellent! Right On. Also, LET ME REMIND Republicans...of the: Get This: THE DIXIE CHICKS, a popular Country Music trio...during the George W. Bush (Bush 2) presidency. The Dixie Chicks, when performing in London, in the early 2000's, heavily criticized W. on the Stage, during the performance. WELL, the Republicans AND THE COUNTRY MUSIC RADIO STATIONS in the United States reacted very strongly...about 2 things: #1 Criticizing Bush at all, and especially for the War against Iraq...because SAUDI'S commandeered planes that crashed into the Twin Towers in New York. (Well, Bush said it was because of the Iraqis WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.) ANYWAY, Many Country Music Stations Banned the Dixie Chicks Music. Also, there were a number of Country Music Stations that Sponsored big demonstrations that included having listeners bring in there Dixie Chicks CD's...piling them up...crushing them with bulldozers, burning them. THEN, Boycotting was IN.


The message obviously came from the Lyon County Republican Committee as evidenced by Peggy Masts title listed as the chair. She has written other articles to the paper without that title so that would indicate that this letter was written on behalf of that organization. It also states in the first sentence that it is from the LCRC. This would be more obvious to people if they didn’t let their blind hate for Mrs. Mast cloud their judgment as those on the left so often do, being the emotional bunch that they are. The article also recognized that boycotts come from both sides of the spectrum but the LCRC doesn’t support boycotting our neighbors in this community because of ideological differences. It was not an attempt at stifling free speech but rather a positive gesture towards our neighbors. I guess trying to be positive and neighborly doesn’t sit well with some folks but in my experience, there are some people that can’t be happy unless they have something to be unhappy about.


"Brandon" did a great job of explaining what Peggy Mast was actually trying to say for those that just didn't get it.


My point is that Peggy's opinion is moot since she has to turn to Hitler for profound advice. The fact you are rationalizing Speaker of the House Pro Tempore openly praising Hitler shows how non-sensible your line of thinking is. For example, if you had a child and they wrote a paper saying about all the positive things Hitler did would you not be skeptical of their opinion?



Peggy Mast Innovative & Ingenious. We the people of Kansas are so happy to have her. We need to learn from Peggy for without her we are lost in the darkness. I am emotional because I think it is sad for someone to represent for Emporia who praised Hitler online.


"praised Hitler online." That is one of the most laughable things i have read in a long time. Mr. Ranklin sounds like a bitter human being and i feel sorry for him.


What does this have to do with the opinion piece? And, PP and Hitler both had their hands in destroying innocent life. Your point regarding Smoot's support of President Trump and Mast's point concerning "community" support would be what? I cannot believe that attacks against Peggy Mast over her opinion or Mr. Smoot's opinion, but then, liberals do this in order to silence the opposition again and again and again - don't let them get away with it! Facts speak louder than liberal hysteria.

burn'n daylight

Well said...


Peggy: Thank you for your response on this, it is excellent. Sadly, far too many in the media try to stir people up simply to pit one side against the other as it makes something to write about. "Divide and conquer". Sadly, these threats are being used to try to silence those that don't agree with a certain platform/person. Too many people forget what made our country great, and why people fled to this country in the first place - perhaps a shortcoming of our educational system, no more US History?


Come on Peggy, you know that these threats were simply another example of left wing "tolerance". Remember the benevolence of some of the great left leaders of history, i.e., Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. Because of their "tolerance", more were killed by these 20th. Century peace time regimes than in all the wars in the history of man.


You have just listed ALL OF THE PEOPLE that Trump, and Today's Republicans Admire!!!!


Are you including FOX, America's #1 Nazi Voice. Of course, you will say that FOX does NOT try to Stir People Up against Democrats or Any, All People not siding with TRUMP!!!!!!!! Trump is the Most Evil Person the world has ever known...has left Hitler in the dust!!!


You have plenty of time to read what I write; all you do is spend time complaining on the Gazette. You should be thanking me for giving you more content to read. I usually bank on people who read this website to have high attention spans. You claim people lose an argument every time regardless of information when they insult someone; in that case, your celebrity heartthrob does that to everyone he debates. Adopting one child does not make one an expert on adoption, nor does reading an article on sexual battery and assault does not make them an expert on the ruling of a trial.


A "quality or quantity" issue when it comes to some of the comments. Questioning what I know? I, unlike some, don't address subjects where I am not well versed. I shopped at Fanestil on the weekend, and can't wait to cast my vote for President Trump in 2020! I do pity those that can't get over the election of 2016, yeah, that isn't really true. I do get kick out of the comments though, so keep them coming, and I'll read a bite here and there until I leave it all behind!

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