[Recently] I wrote a letter to the editor that caused a genuinely unexpected backlash. As soon as the paper came out I received an angry text from friends in Nebraska saying I had attacked them in the press. I’d have never guessed that our small town newspaper forum could be considered “the press” or that anyone in Nebraska was likely to read it. And I certainly never intended anything I said to be an attack. These are people I value highly as friends that I’ve known practically since I was in diapers. I thought my letter was simply lamenting the fact that politics have become so divisive and uncivil that you can’t even discuss the with your oldest friends – but obviously it didn’t come across that way. I guess maybe we’re all programmed to see every disagreement as an attack.
I’ll let my friends’ text speak for itself: “We don’t always vote Republican, nor the same. We’re certainly not single issue voters and the fact that we carry (guns) has nothing to do with politics.”
So on those points I stand corrected and anything I said to the contrary was simply opinion or conjecture on my part. Since my perceived attack was in the press, I thought my apology should be as well – I just hope they read the Independent every week.
However, the intent of my original letter seems to have been verified. The only reason I mentioned those friends at all, in the context, was to say that it’s sad when you can’t discuss politics – even with your oldest friends. Our small issues keep us divided, so we’re unable to focus on the larger ones.
We all have to breathe the air, drink the water, and, by some means, make a living for ourselves and our families. We Americans need to fix and/or protect those things before we try to tell the rest of the world how to live. The great orange ape in Washington – whose only purpose in life seems to be to go around loudly screaming, “Look at me!” – is an ugly and unnecessary distraction.