I, among others, have seen a dramatic change in the nature of people. There is, and has been for some time, a growing need to attack each other for our differences and points of view.
I write, as do many others, letters to this periodical on a regular basis. I read most of the letters that are printed. I often go online and read the "comment section," which is available in the online version.
I have been very disheartened by a growing trend I see not only in these comments, but in various social media and news outlets that allow commenting on posts. That trend is very simple - kill the messenger.
I respect anyone's opinion and their right to express that opinion, even if I totally disagree with it. I read others' submissions to this paper and may or may not comment on them.
What I find disheartening is that here and elsewhere, people attack the writer, not what the writer has written. I, personally, have seen many writers attacked, myself included, while the "commenters" offered no evidence to refute what the writers had stated in their letters.
This is a growing trend, not only in periodicals such as this, but even in mainstream news outlets. Someone makes a statement during an interview and the interviewer goes into attack mode.
Many times, I have seen people humiliated and ridiculed for what they stated, yet never was any evidence put forward to refute or disprove their claims. Instead, they were the victims of "character assassination," discredited as being "conspiracy theorists," QAnon nut cases, and worse. All the while, no evidence is given to refute what they say, just destroy their character and credibility.
As I stated, I have no problem with anyone voicing their opinion. It is their God-given right. I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with me.
What I do have a problem with is people who cannot or do not support their position. If someone disagrees, or doesn't like what someone says, present your evidence to the contrary. Who knows, you may even change someone's mind.
If you have evidence that refutes a writer's claim, show it to us. I find it is much easier to win an argument with evidence and proof. In my writings, I try to present evidence in support of my claims. I make reference to certain news stories, press conferences, documents, etc.
Sadly, I do not see that from those who negatively comment on mine, or others' writings. Instead, I see the writers attacked as "foolish," "negative," and just a "conspiracy theorist..." Well, "show me the money." If you have a valid argument that refutes or disproves what someone claims, present your evidence.
You do not win a case in a court of law simply by telling the judge that the cop who arrested you is a conspiracy theorist... you have to prove your case. Many people may be wrong, myself included, about what we believe and express... Well, don't just say we are wrong, prove we are.
The point I am trying to make here is simple. We have fallen away from healthy debate and agreeing to disagree. Instead, we have developed a mentality of "my way or the highway..." It is no wonder our nation is so divided... why there exists so much disharmony and discord.
We can no longer simply disagree; we have to kill the character of anyone we disagree with... be it here in this paper or in the halls of Congress... A man once said: Put your money where your mouth is.