Reading the submissions to the paper by the local community I often see a common theme which says, “if I don’t agree with it, I must make every effort to denigrate it and dehumanize its author.” I often see it in matters of politics or when school students submit intelligent articles that maybe hit too close to home. Insults are hurled toward members of certain political affiliations and its members degraded as nonsensical or subversive. It happens too often to ignore and has grown tiresome and ineffective.
I’m sorry if some of us can’t handle an opposing viewpoint. I’m sorry if court rulings don’t always go in your favor. I’m sorry if you don’t like it that our younger audience has an opinion often combined with intelligent suggestions. It’s not always about you. Others matter and I’m interested in what they have to say.
Consistent insulting tirades don’t change minds but serve only to diminish the credibility of those who sling them. I’ve seen letters that praise the current White House occupant, DT, as the greatest thing since the invention of fire. That is the opinion of some and I respect that. I don’t have to agree with it. He’s entitled to believe he was sent to Earth as the messiah by some supernatural phantasm. I don’t have to agree with that either.
I would hope that our young writers continue to impart their views on topics that affect us all. Often times a new perspective is offered that we may have missed.
Respect is earned. It is not acquired through bullying or juvenile intimidation.