Monday, September 13, 2004

Joel Snider Responds
I wrote a response to Dr. Snider's piece on civility in public discourse here. He sent his regards and best wishes to everyone, and this response:
I appreciate Don's sentiment. I'd just say three things:

One, the context is primarily local. We've had too many letters to the editor which simply call names instead of dealing with issues. It is public discourse - between neighbors - at its very, very worst.

Second, MLK was indeed confrontational. The beauty of his approach was that he remained civil in his speech, despite the confrontation. He said:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Strength To Love, 1963.

AND>>>>>>>>>>I only had about 500 words, so I couldn't cover it all!

If you would, please forward these comments to Don. They aren't meant as argumentative, for I surely understand where he is coming from. Lord knows I've wanted to vent my spleen over the war and the campaign. I have to apply what I wrote to myself daily!


I don't think we really disagree with each other. I only worry that there may be wrong reasons to value civility, and his piece raised those thoughts in my head, but I don't think of course that his reasons are those.

Thanks for sending word, Joel. Come by anytime!

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