Letter: Move on from childish political insults

Posted

To the editor:

It doesn't surprise me when liberals' patriotism is questioned by their opponents in political debates. It's a shopworn tactic with a long and ugly history of misfires. It certainly never settled anything; it often makes matters worse by its proven ability to stifle free and open discussion of public affairs.

Nonetheless, it's free speech, and this treasured constitutional right sometimes is difficult to live with, as Mark Plenzo demonstrates in his Jan. 10 letter stating that "liberal politicians and the liberal media are on Iran's side." "Treasonous press, pols."

That is neither true nor useful, and the implication that liberals are guilty of treason is offensive, but it's Mr. Plenzo's right to offend. He probably knows that for many people, a smear applied with name calling (would "Iran lover" work for him?) settles the matter.It doesn't come anywhere close, and it never will, as long as the venom in which so much pubic debate is soaked retains its potency.

Perhaps a remedy for this toxicity is to be found in the nation's elementary schools.

Maybe opposing sides in political tussles could dilute the smear paint, apply it lightly, then get on with a discussion of real issues. For instance, if Trump were to question my patriotism as a former member of the liberal news media and a registered Democrat, I call the president a big doo dee head who's full of ka ka. So there!

Can we move on now?

D. R. (Dusty) Bahlman,

Williamstown

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