Archive for Saturday, August 21, 2004

Civil discourse

August 21, 2004


To the editor:

I have lived here for 12 years. That means I've had four major elections including this one during which I've proudly displayed signs, symbols and bumper stickers for my chosen candidates. In this election year and in past election years, I've had my car vandalized more than once, a mailbox knocked down, a second mailbox damaged, yard signs torn down and destroyed. Mostly nuisance stuff, mildly costly.

There is one thing that, in 12 years of elections, has never happened. Not once has a supporter of the "other side" come to my door, approached me in a store or in any way tried to sway my opinion or my vote. Instead of rational discourse over the issues, honest exchanging of ideas, I get glass bottles stuffed under my wheels in hopes that I'll run over them and ruin my tires. I get my car broken into and keyed. I get chewing gum smeared over my bumper stickers or torn off completely. I get my mailbox bashed in, knocked down, pried loose. I don't get asked why I believe what I believe.

I would gladly take my time and talk politics. I'd listen to an opposing viewpoint and state my own position. I don't believe I would actually change someone's mind but I'd enjoy the debate and the opportunity to discuss a philosophy other than my own.

I haven't said who I support. That's not the point. I support civility, honesty and freedom of speech. The little things.

Jeri Sickels,


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