This is a column about this column. Particularly, this is about responses and reviews of this column.

Another View is penned by a small group of writers who are hard-working, thoughtful, earnest and, yes, conservative. They are truly grateful for the opportunity to present a conservative view in newspapers which, typically, have a dominant liberal slant.

Chalk one up for the owner and editors of these papers for supporting balance.

I am the “newbie” in this group, and it was my distinct honor to have been asked to participate. However, after having written several pieces now, I have been disappointed by some of the column’s reviewers whom I believe have been blatantly unfair in their responses and, while I have the temerity to opine on this matter, I am not necessarily speaking for all of my fellow columnists.

What deeply concerns me is the type of dismissive, ad hominem response that is totally devoid of oppositional argument.

For example, my most recent column related a heartfelt, childhood experience that I presented as a parable comment on the contrast between capitalism and socialism.


I affirmed that this was a true story in which I, daringly, did not even change the names of those in the narrative. I was aghast to receive a review by a frequent critic of this column that was expressed in two sentences “B.S. Stop watching FOX News,” and followed by a cut and paste of three articles on Scandinavian socialism.

Surely, I deserved a little respect for my childhood story not being “B.S.” and I never made any reference to FOX News. Furthermore, couldn’t this reviewer have commented on the argument I proposed in the parable? I would have welcomed that response.

I can only imagine how this type of review might have been applied to “War and Peace,” “Bad book. Author is Russian.” (Apologies here to Tolstoy. I am not in his league.)

I submit that this dismissive, ad hominem reaction by many on the current left is eroding political discussion and debate and that some of it is quite dangerous.

For example, it was incredulous to discover that two Democratic senators, Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris, sent written questions to Brian Buescher — President Trump’s nominee to sit on the U.S. District Court in Nebraska — questioning his fitness to serve based on the facts that he is a Catholic and a member of the Knights of Columbus, a 140-year-old service organization.

(Incidentally, the Knights of Columbus defended minorities for more than a century, commissioned works on black and Jewish history, stood against the Ku Klux Klan, and today assist victims of the Islamic State.)


However, to the disapproval of Hirono and Harris, they are Catholic! While I am a Christian, I am not of this denomination. However, our politics have sunk to a sad low point if being Catholic fails a religious test to serve in our government.

So now, after conservatives and Catholics, we have a third group that rounds out the “three Cs” that many on the left dismiss out of hand: capitalists.

Times have indeed changed. Not too long ago, it would have been pretty unusual to claim in sober conversation that one was a socialist.

Today, not only is it a badge of honor for many Democrats to proclaim, it is a platform from which those on the left can dismiss with impunity anyone who confesses to be — horrors — a capitalist.

In summary, it is my fervent hope that the topics presented in Another View inspire vigorous, on-point debate and argument. Fair, thoughtful, political discourse is a cornerstone of American democracy.

I sincerely hope that the writers of this column, its critics and the editors of these participating newspapers will agree with my, albeit, conservative view. Can’t wait for reader response.

Another View is a weekly column written collaboratively by Dale Landrith of Camden, Ken Frederic of Bristol, Paul Ackerman of Martinsville, Jan Dolcater of Rockport and Ralph “Doc” Wallace of Rockport.

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