Adjectives, hatefulness, politics, and fair play in rhetoric

WESTMINSTER — As an elected official for some 30 years, I have had previous unproductive interactions with Emily Peyton and would like to respond to her latest attention grab - attacking Michael Mrowicki in a letter to the editor.

I served in the Legislature with Mike for eight years. There is not a hateful bone in his body.

As for some of the rhetoric to which Peyton was responding, many of us have been holding our emotional breath for four ghastly years while an orange madman ran our government, so Michael accurately expressed how I feel about the comparison between the just-past and current presidents.

In his entire four-year tenure, the orange man accomplished only one signature act: helping the wealthiest people and corporations in America avoid their responsibility to support our country through fair taxation.

The one promise he made at the beginning of his tenure was to pass an infrastructure bill but, unfortunately for our country, it got jammed up for four years behind the overt discrimination, misogyny, racism, and slanderous hate in his mind.

In contrast to that sad portfolio, our current president has helped those willing to help themselves and brought the Covid pandemic for them to a standstill by mobilizing the country to get their shots and provided relief for those who faced misfortune caused by the pandemic.

Add to that: He passed an infrastructure maintenance, repair, and improvement bill in seven months and was able to reach across the aisle and recruit votes other than from his own party.

For political effect, being imaginative with one's descriptors is useful and in the political world if your political opponent refuses to cooperate, attributing to them the responsibility for their actions is fair game.

If one does not like being described as a sycophantic minion, then one should instead take actions in the best interests of the country. If one is not a minion, then one gets a vaccine shot, wears a mask, and urges others to do the same. I, on behalf of my great-grandchildren, appreciate those who care about stopping this scourge. Emily, I hear you are not concerned; can that be true?

Political debate was, is, and should be robust, and because one politician or another uses adjectives that describe political actions does not mean they are hateful or instructing others to hate. In some places, “liberal” is an oft-used descriptor that causes apoplexy in some of those described and some of those doing the describing. Is that word now not fair to use? What about “progressive,” “socialist,” “communist,” “snowflake,” and “libtard”? I have been called them all; if you are in for a dime, you are in for a dollar.

We who value and practice political discourse mostly try to do it without rancor, which is something Emily seemingly does not understand, as her fiery language in this missive shows. Her descriptors are sweeping, virulent, and hostile.

What she feels is good for the goose by calling on Michael Mrowicki to resign for his use of political rhetoric is not good enough for her, the gander, as she clucks on and on using incendiary language and descriptors throughout her letter. Should her words, because she wrote them, be exempt from her prohibition on rough-and-tumble political discourse?

In the interest of fair pay, I hope not. As you have just read, I wanted the opportunity to respond in kind. Thanks for reading this.

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