February 1, 2013

Another View: Another View writer delivered low blows instead of debate


In spite of conservative criticism that, due to being owned by Donald Sussman, the Press Herald and Sunday Telegram is a liberal newspaper, your editors are to be commended for providing ample space on your editorial pages for conservative columnists and citizens to argue their opinions.

I especially appreciate the "Another View" editorials, which give average citizens like me a chance to add their perspective to those pages.

However, I would like to take issue with the paper's choice of the Jan. 26 Another View ("Obama's election marks the start of America's decline") by Dewey Rundis of Falmouth.

This column was not a reasoned, intelligent opinion that countered the president's policies. Rather it was a vitriolic screed typical of the fringe right wing that has nothing to add to an intelligent discussion of presidential policy.

Words such as "socialistic," "vile," "parasitic," "unqualified," "incompetent" and "anti-American," which were used to describe U.S. citizens and the president himself, do nothing to advance the rational discussion that we ought to be having over these policies. I'm sure that even thoughtful conservatives wince when an opinion like this one, which contains slurs, slander and ad hominem attacks, is chosen to represent the conservative viewpoint, rather than an opinion that contains reasoned, thoughtful arguments.

Opinions such as these only lead to polarization and an inhibition of the discussion that should be taking place in the halls of Congress, the public square and newspapers such as yours.

Choosing such a hateful piece to put on the left-hand side of the editorial page did nothing to raise or even maintain the level of constructive discourse that we ought to be having over important national policies. I would hope that in the future such crude and mindless opinions, whether from the right or the left, would at least be relegated to the letters section.

Jeffrey Sturgis is a resident of Minot.

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