I shouldn’t surprise anyone alive in the western world today, if you put your own opinion out there someone else is gonna’ take a dislike to it. I’m certainly not surprised.
I am always surprised, however, at the severity of commentary folks throw back when they opine on someone elses’ opinion. These days, if people do not like a position you take, they resort to fourth grade behavior of name calling. Most folks do not try to reason, “If you do not agree with me, if you’re not 100 percent in lockstep with my opinions, you are Nazi. (A racist, a homophobe, a misogynist or whatever term of disparagement is hot today). I hate you!”
I find it amazing any sane person puts forward any opinion for fear of communicative castration. I wonder if anyone out there reading has self-censored — stopped yourself from engaging in conversation because you just didn’t want the stuff sure to follow? Further, I wonder if this self-censorship will have a chilling effect on the free exchange of ideas? Are we close to only the person shouting the loudest wins, even over reason?
I’ve been called terrible things over the years; some folks have been so triggered over the words I’ve typed they have gone as far as to even call my kids names. This past week, after publishing another ever-loving Don’t Rush Me column, I am happy to report only a few people resorted to calling me names. They didn’t like my opinion in regards to how Oakland County got a new county executive. (In my humble opinion, low-down, scallywagishly.)
If I remember correctly one person called me a “hack writer,” another called me a “partisan turd.” I admit, I’ve been called worse.
Here’s a commentary from a reader named Henry, who disagrees with me. He does a fine job of laying out his case.
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Don: As an independent voter, I get to criticize both major parties. While the action by the Oakland County Democrats has upset you, please recall the actions of the Republicans (including Tom Middleton) to change the districts in 2011 to preserve their power.
Also, it is a Republican group, headed by the fired former Republican Governor of Wisconsin, which is trying to overturn the anti-gerrymandering law that was passed by over 60 percent of Michigan voters last year. Gerrymandering is wrong by Democrats in Maryland and New York or Republicans in North Carolina and Michigan.
Even the U.S. Supreme Court, with a majority of Justices having been appointed by Republicans, cited the Michigan law as being the right approach to address gerrymandering.
Never has the United States been so polarized politically. The fact a majority of people in Michigan identify themselves as independents gives me hope.
Thanks. Be fair.
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DeeAnn posted this: “ I don’t get it. Why are you so surprised about back room deals? This is how democracy works. You may not like it but your overlords know what’s best for you. I guess now you can understand how the rest of us felt when Agent Orange (President Trump) got elected. Imagine living or working in Detroit? What does that mean? What’s wrong with fair and equal? After all, you’re angry because all of this wasn’t fair, right? Please explain.”
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To which a Doug followed up with this: “I don’t think Don is surprised by backroom deals, but surprised by just how dirty this deal was. Scheduling votes during the former commissioner’s funeral so people who wanted to show respect wouldn’t be there, the resigning and unresigning, etc. I’ll agree with you that this wouldn’t be out of place for Washington or even Lansing, it’d be business as usual for our two utterly corrupt parties. However at a local level, at least in Oakland County, we’d had and seen differently, we’d seen better. Don (and I) am afraid that is now going to be gone. There are spots of good government throughout our nation, there just aren’t many of them.
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And a Jeannie did send me this: “Thank you for stating out loud what many of us feel. Won’t be long before Oakland is as corrupt as Cook County, Illinois. The Dems will completely destroy what Brooks (the late, former county exec L. Brooks Patterson) built here. Very sad?”
Got an opinion you want me to share or shread? Send your comments to DontRushDon@gmail.com