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Demonizing Rants Not Good For Community

I read a nice piece of writing in the paper this week by the editor describing the role of a community newspaper and why it is still an invaluable part of the fabric of our community. I read it and was inspired as Mr. Byrd described so much of what I enjoy about The Tribune and believe it is symbolic of what I have come to love about my new home in Rabun County. But then I read through the Letters to the Editors on the very next page and saw frequent editorial contributor Tommy James revert to name calling of Democrats with words like ungrateful, hypercritical, hissy fits, incestious, and to top it all off . . . retarded, I had to stop and scratch my head. I am a proud progressive but I also infinitely value the conservative perspective, even if their conclusions are not my own. I believe our country is at it’s best when Republican and Democrats are both in mutual tension and conversation with each other. But rants like Mr. James that demonize the other side are not good for our community. And calling good people retarted when so many of us know individuals with disabilities is unacceptable. This isn’t me being a snowflake but rather me striving to be a good and decent neighbor and member of my community. I hope Republicans and Democrats both can agree on that. And I hope the Tribune which seeks to be a part of the conversation about our community can do a better job of deciding what is fit to print.