I am tardy in responding to a letter to the editor from the December 10 issue but better late than never.
The letter’s author, Roger Von Holzen, took exception to post-election remarks I made in a column published a week or so earlier. Some criticism had to do with content, some with how I supported my points. This caused me to review my column to see where I allegedly went wrong.
Stated Mr. Von Holzen: “I need to remind one of your opinion writers that his comments should be based on facts…”
Of course I have no problem with that notion, but I wasn’t writing a news report which is, or should be, factual. I wrote an opinion piece which may be supported by facts but not wholly. If you read My Word regularly, you know I often cite sources, use quotes, and make references as needed. Not every piece requires authority because opinion isn’t shaped exclusively by facts as Roger demands. Opinion is also shaped by observation, education, intuition and experience.
Few readers of an opinion piece want to read a recitation of facts that could be gathered from the front page. Also, a position can be supported by reasons or examples instead of facts. I think I do a decent job of applying these as needed, depending on topic or angle, but in every instance it is point of view that matters most in an opinion column.
The writer also took exception to a comment I made concerning how Joe Biden did not lay out a coherent platform during his abbreviated campaign. Well, I paid a reasonable amount of attention to speeches, debates and the like. What I observed is when Biden showed up, his talk concerned the usual vague points about healing the nation, bringing us all together and so on. That’s not a platform. That’s re-cycled political rhetoric. A platform is a blueprint for the future laid out precisely.
The writer pointed out anyone interested could go online and find the Democratic agenda, but that wasn’t my point. What I expect from a candidate is definition, direction and certainty, not a review of what I have heard a hundred times. Platforms should be covered when speaking to potential voters; listing them online isn’t the same thing. Not even close.
Roger seemed to dislike my reference to D.C. as a “swamp.” Interesting, since the capital is plumb full of bureaucrats, lobbyists and political functionaries. In election 2020, Washington voted 92% Democratic, a rate askew with every other area of the U.S., including states that went to Biden. Washingtonians know which party butters their bread. Hence, the creation of the swamp and the applicable reference to it.
Roger objected to my assertion Democrats lied to the public when they argued Trump would end the rights of the LGBTQ community. I can think of no law passed or repealed during the Trump regime that negatively impacted the rights of these folks. Not one. Trump had no intention of narrowing or ending anyone’s rights.
Von Holzen identified the appointment of “radical right wing judges” to the courts as if that threat is real to LGBTQ. You have my word no one’s civil rights will be disturbed by Trump appointments. Constitutional rights are defined, real and set in law as well as in people‘s minds.
Said Von Holzen: “As for Trump being a racist--are you kidding me?” in reference to my argument this was also a lie.
Uh, no, I wasn’t kidding. To me a racist is someone who actively works against another race out of spite, fear, prejudice or misdirected beliefs. Clearly, a president could issue executive orders or push laws that could impact negatively on minorities. Trump didn’t do that. If there is proof to the contrary, let’s see it. Otherwise, it stands as a lie.
Racism is serious business, and accusations of it resonates far and wide. The left uses it for selfish political ends because it works. They have done it for many years. And that’s a fact.
A final point was the reader’s objection to my remark Vice President-elect Harris had lived years outside the U. S. He pointed out Harris lived in Canada for six years while in school. This seems to reinforce my point rather than refute it. These years were critical formative years when Harris could’ve, perhaps, been learning some positive things about America.
Larry W. Anderson is a retired educator.