Imelda Marcos was filmed saying something rather chilling in a 2019 documentary of her life: “Perception is real; the truth is not,” she says in “The Kingmaker,” a Showtime documentary.

This observation is at once disturbing and all too true.

For the last several years the polarization of American politics has borne this phrase out, and intolerance, it seems, is informing perception.

Democrats believe one thing; the Republicans another but neither side, it seems, is cordially allowing the other their views.

In 2017, a political operative in a Sunday morning Meet the Press interview used the term “alternative facts” in defending a false statement.

The Ocracoke Observer rarely strays into national politics, preferring to focus on the more influential county commissioners and the state’s legislature, the General Assembly. Their actions can have a major impact on the island’s community.

But the Nov. 3 General Election, in which we vote for the incumbent president Donald J. Trump or challenger Joe Biden, will be one of the most critical in American history in terms of the direction and stability of the country. We felt we had to weigh in.

A wary, cynical electorate is nevertheless galvanized as Republicans and Democrats play to their base and court the growing number of unaffiliated voters.

Voter registrations for all political parties have increased in the last few months and record numbers of mail-in ballots have been issued. As of Oct. 8, North Carolina voters have requested 1.25 million absentee ballots.

In 2016 on the same date only 152,030 requests had been made. 

Already, of the 7.23 million registered voters, 420,695 votes, or 6%, have already been cast. A combination of high interest in choosing candidates coupled with safety concerns from waiting in long lines to vote account for such high numbers.

What is most disturbing during this election—indeed these last four years—is the vitriol with which the two political parties are going at each other and the attempts to crush any opposition viewpoint.

At the same time, others are working feverishly against mail-in voting due to concerns of unsubstantiated fraud.

Reporters who ask questions the president does not like and news outlets who question the president and report on his untruths are labeled as “fake” news. But the right to criticize our leaders was a crucial concept of our nation’s founders.

The first presidential “debate,” which featured a belligerent president railing and stomping on the challenger’s answers, demonstrated that (good and bad) behavior begins at the top.

Is this really us? Is this the way we want our leader to behave?

What happened to the give-and-take of ideas–without yelling or demonizing the opposition–that has been the hallmark of our free country?

The United States was founded on the right of the people to “petition the government” to seek redress and to peaceably assemble. In the last four years these values have been turned upside down.

Since the 2016 presidential election, our country has experienced great chaos and turmoil: An impeachment of the president (though failed removal from office), a pandemic that has already killed more than 200,000 Americans and still rages. Violence at protests over racial inequality in numerous cities recalls those of the 1960s.

But is this truth, or is it perception?

Whose truth/perception do you believe?

Whatever your viewpoint, your vote matters. Many elections have been won or lost by a few votes.

So, we can’t stress enough that truly, your vote does count, whether it be via mail-in or in person.

The North Carolina early voting period runs from Thursday, Oct. 15, to Saturday, Oct. 31, with Ocracoke’s early voting days of Oct. 22 and 23.

Information about local candidates is in this paper and online at, and information about state and federal candidates can be found at

We hope everyone takes this election very seriously and does what many in the world are not able to do and that is to vote. 

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  1. I agree that this election is critical to the direction and stability of this country. But let me offer opinion on what many of us consider critical factors in our decision. As more disclosures are made, we now know for certain that members of the previous administration were more than complicit in fabricating and funding a false document known as the pee dossier. The dossier and other falsified documents were then used to get FISA warrants to spy on Trump surrogates and allege that Trump was in collusion with Russia. The intelligence agencies and the Obama Justice Department were weaponized to prevent Trump’s election and then effect a coup to remove him. The Mueller group investigated and found no guilt and knew that there was none from the onset. The Democrats could not be satisfied with the conclusion reached by the venerable Mueller and had Schiff run their own fruitless investigation. The House impeached Trump without citing one impeachable offense and lost. The mainstream media endorsed and trumpeted every accusation against Trump, never bothering to investigate their veracity. Trump, unlike most Republicans, went after his enemies and that was called being divisive. Trump is often accused of lying. Yet, the leftist Snopes published a list of lies the left had spread about Trump. Despite the constant attacks, Trump has accomplished much for America. He reduced taxes for working families, revoked oppressive regulations thereby promoting business growth and employment, he enlisted business leaders to improve minority job opportunities, and he signed landmark criminal justice reform legislation. He got us out of the unworkable Paris Climate Accord and Iranian Nuclear Deal. He got NATO members to finally start meeting their obligations. He negotiated new favorable trade agreements with China and our North American partners. He made us energy independent and is rebuilding our military. Trump said there were rapists and murderers coming across our southern border and the left said he called all Mexicans rapists and murderers. He cut off travel from countries lacking adequate screening and was called a xenophobe, hating all Muslims. He stated that there were fine people on both sides of the monument debate, the left said he endorsed white supremacists. He wants to build a wall and Democrats, who previously were in favor, vehemently oppose it.
    Today’s Democratic Party is way to the left of center. It is run by socialists like Sanders and the squad. Democrat run cities have allowed Marxist insurrectionists BLM and Antifa to riot, loot and burn with the intent to cause chaos. They said these demonstrations were mostly peaceful to a backdrop of burning buildings and rampaging mobs. Democrat leaders endorse defunding and abolishing police departments. The left excoriates Trump for his handling of the Covid pandemic. However, before the campaign, even Democratic governors praised his efforts. Because he chose to not panic the country early on, but to work diligently to mobilize efforts to stop the spread and enlist private companies to manufacture needed supplies, he is accused of deceiving the people. He had excellent people advising him and gave updates daily which was called grandstanding. It is damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
    The Democratic nominee has been a federal elected office holder for 47 years. Now, with diminished mental capacity, he says he knows how to fix everything. He will be directed by the socialists that run the party. It will be more government control, higher taxes, and distribution of wealth in everything from health coverage to the green new deal. Socialism and communism have failed universally. They kill innovation and growth and cause deprivation.
    It doesn’t take genius to see where opposing opinions are shut down. Universities ban conservative speakers. Social networks from facebook to twitter censor and ban conservative thought. It’s a chapter out of Orwell’s 1984.
    Some States have experience with mass mail in voting, most do not. Best estimate is there are about 24 million ineligible voters registered on state and local voter rolls. States, including North Carolina, are being sued for failing to maintain clean voter rolls as prescribed in the so-called Motor Voter Law. The Dr. Fauci said it is safe to vote in person with masks and social distancing. If you really want to know why they are pushing mass mail-in voting, read the Democrats “Transition Integrity Project” Plan. The strategy takes advantage of the delay in calling the election, due to mail-ins, to spread mayhem and misinformation.
    Whatever, make an informed choice and then go vote.

  2. At the very base every presidential election has been mostly about ones own pocketbook, and who’s leadership will best help fill it. This year may be different, Never have I heard so much, “fake news” and disinformation from not only the press but also the politicians. And I’m greatly concerned that our citizenry may be ill equipped to glean the truth. In the end, a good economy benefits everyone and a rising tide lifts all boats no matter if yours is a skiff or a yacht. As a semi-retiree a good economy not only helps my personal pension (IRA), but it helps my part time work (farm), and it allows me to have excess spendable income (vacation to Ocracoke). It is my hope and prayer, not only will prosperity continue economically but we can see our constitution, the government it provides, and the free press that it allows begin to prosper again also. GO VOTE!!!
    Vaughan Bryant

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