The following is an open letter I sent to Washington Post Columnist Kathleen Parker in response to her article “Punch-drunk Donald Trump”
Ignoring fundamentals and principles of decency, the Golden Rule, and civility places you on the other side of the red line of civil discourse. Cal Thomas in a recent column wrote “…the personal attack achieves nothing, except to make the attacker feel good. It almost always invites a similar response.” I will not of course do that to you in my defense of our President.
The only objective you have and want is to discredit your President. Using personal and vile insults as a confrontational means of disruption is a twisted way of using your ability to appear to the fringes of the Democrat Party. As a distinguished writer, and I have read your columns for years, I feel that you have lowered yourself to that fringe. Is this the way for civil discourse to surface? I do not support all the actions that our President creates on a personal twitter attack basis. I feel he takes away from his overall accomplishments he has had so far and needs to stop.
I do, however, support along with tens of millions of other Americans who voted for him, the message of America’s strength, compassion, and resolve. He is attempting to replace and imploding health care act, has driven ISIS into the ground defeating them all over the Middle East including Raqqa, decreased illegal immigration 50-70% by his own words alone without the wall since taking office, removed onerous regulatory restrictions, met with leaders of HCBUs, achieved a cease fire in Syria two days ago, respected immensely in Israel, Russia, China, Great Britain, Poland, et al among other economic advancements in employment, trade, and the like.
That, despite people like yourself who do not demonstrate Patriot pride by demeaning the president behind his back in columns that are visible throughout the country. Freedom of the press should not include lowering yourself to personal attacks. Call out the President yes, disagree of course, but to personally attack is beyond the pale unless you wish to teach our children that two wrongs make a right. You are also creating a barrier to the work I am doing with race relations dialogues by visibly undermining the President.
I lead race relations dialogues throughout the country with 40 so far and 20 more in the next six weeks in major cities. I am a white male, Baby Boomer, retired military, vastly educated and genuine. I am the only one in the federal government who had the courage to take on race relations for the first time and I am not a genuine fool as a President Trump’s supporter but I am an anomaly. I work for solutions and choose to find common ground; not complain and insult those who are at or who we need to be at the table.
You brought up incidents that were caused by Republicans that of course were not supportable. Where is your mention, however, of violent protests and anarchist behavior at Berkeley et al and shouting down our government representatives at town halls not allowing any dialogue? You never mentioned the Bernie Sanders supporter who shot only Republicans at a baseball practice. Why? Despicable behavior through words of the Democrat and Socialist leaders like Sanders, Pelosi, Schumer, Di Blasio, et al who throw in children dying, ripping families apart, etc. They choose to be disruptive with their vile insults and false pronouncements encouraging disruption and resistance rather than offering any recommendation, which, by the way you did not yourself offer any. I disagreed with a lot of what President Obama did during his 8 years but never disparaged or insulted him in public or any other other venue. I would not “have stormed the National Mall demanding the President’s impeachment” for any of his sophomoric attacks on Republicans. Rather I would tried to do my part in healing versus attacking those who are trying to heal and repair issues and problems.
I have asked your fellow colleagues at the Washington Post who prefer personal attacks and resistance; Dana Milbank (who is quoted in my book), Eugene Robinson (An Insult to the Founders column), Petula Dvorak, and Courtland Milloy to either have a joint dialogue with me or a debate with a conservative who is making progress with race relations. All have chosen not to respond. I also invite you to join in this dialogue as I engage in the arena nationwide trying to heal the racial divide. Try working with me and the nation by seeking to unite rather than insisting on division through resistance and insults. When you insult the President, you insult me and his supporters; millions of us in every state in the country. Is that one of your objectives? I do not believe so but it has that result.
I will be using your column as one of my handouts for my next federal Inter-agency session in Detroit when the question is asked how has the media contributes to the racial divide. Others that I have used from your colleagues have always had the response from all races, that personal attacks are not doing anyone any good in the media and only serve to inflame emotions. Think about that before you write your next inflammatory column.
Or, you can choose to stay on the other side of the civility red line and demonstrate to our children that the model for incivility and vile personal attacks are now normalized and they should join in. I for one, do not want my one old granddaughter to experience this and she will learn from me that the model for civility and dialogue is treating people with respect even when you disagree. Your column certainly does not demonstrate any model I wish for her to emulate. It would be a good idea for you, your colleagues and our President to reread the Proverb. Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but (s)he who has a hasty temper exalts folly ” and also the various “Golden Rules” of all religions.”