These are indeed dark times for our constitutional democracy.
The Republican party is desperately loyal to ex-President Trump, who refuses to admit the truth that he lost the 2020 election.
Republicans currently in positions of authority deflect that truth by denouncing the truth tellers in their political ranks, whether they be local, state, or national, but you will never hear them claim their right to free speech as an individual while they do so, nor will you hear them belittling their constituents.
That would be seen as conduct unbecoming a public official sworn to serve the public.
Here in Sequim in what was an idyllic community a few years ago, we have an elected public servant, who uses that same tactic to deflect the truth when members of the public denounce his public conduct inconsistent with his position as mayor.
He too reacts with denial, name-calling, and righteous anger, but he crosses the line into conduct unbecoming a public official when he hides behind his right to free speech as an individual to publicly attack his constituents.