Letter: Considering, and reconsidering

Dec. 14, 2013 @ 11:25 PM

To the editor:

These thoughts were triggered by Bob Herford’s recent column (“Let’s face it: America is broke,) Dec. 8). I rarely agree with Mr. Herford’s opinions, but heretofore I’ve faithfully read his articles, part of my commitment to maintaining breadth in my political exposure. I try to avoid only reading commentators I agree with.

That said, an increasingly strident overtone to his views is leading me to reconsider my intention. I no longer read Susan Stamper Brown’s or Jonah Goldberg’s articles because they always arrive at the same conclusion, i.e. conservative Republicans are good, President Obama is bad. Nor do I read as often Tina Dupuy, who often offers the obverse — Republicans bad, etc. When I learn nothing new, I move on. I did that with Michael Reagan’s remarkably pedestrian articles years ago. In return for my time, I want someone to educate me, not just shout and spout.

If the writer’s aim is simply to get “it” off his chest, OK, valid. Moreover, if the desire is strictly a “shout-out” to those who already agree with him, again, legitimate.

If however, the aim is to persuade others to his concerns, stridency can turn those others away. Myself as an example, I have stopped reading radicalized conservatives. They offer nothing but, “It’s Obama’s fault,” no matter the subject. I’m on the verge with Mr. Herford. Consider, if people like me discontinue examining his heartfelt concerns, then they become choir preachments. I do agree with Mr. Herford’s conclusion — dissatisfaction with our elected officials can be best expressed with a judicious vote.

Upon re-reading his valid contentions about debt, I nevertheless believe there is a pre-eminent American principle at stake. Our challenge, as a nation, remains principally how we can advance “with malice toward none, with charity for all.” It was spoken by a Republican president 150 years ago.

Bob McCarthy