To the editor:
Monday morning, I observed some interesting behavior. I read two opinion articles by two writers on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Both articles were apolitical and innocuous. Yet on the thread that followed each article online, there was an unmistakable attitude toward both writers. Following the article by Leonard Pitts Jr., there was a tongue-in-cheek comment or two about Pitts failing to interject race into the article. Following the article by Charles Krauthammer, which was about his passion for the Nationals baseball team, there were two comments that had to be removed by the Journal-World staff for user violations.
If you were to debate someone in the public square, would you stand and shout obscenities instead of advancing your ideas? Would you reduce your argument to name-calling rather than trying to convince those listening that your ideas are superior through proper intellectual discourse? The purpose of public debate should be to convince the audience, not silence your opponent. Tyranny demands silence from your opposition. That is not what our nation and the Bill of Rights is about.
This November, the United States, once again, returns to the polls to decide its future and whom we wish to lead us. The exchange of ideas is crucial but the rancor and the name-calling is useless. As emotional as these choices are, race-baiting and name-calling serve no purpose in the arena of ideas.