Forum, Nov. 30: Can’t we disagree without being disagreeable?

Published: 11/29/2020 10:00:17 PM
Modified: 11/29/2020 10:00:15 PM
Can’t we disagree without being disagreeable?

I just renewed my Valley News subscription because I think it’s important that we have a local newspaper. I have to at the same time express my disappointment with much of the content. It’s not only the so-called “news” articles, but it’s also the Opinion pages and editorials that I find to be terribly one-sided, especially when it comes to political opinion.

While it would be a dull world if we all thought the same, it would be refreshing if the Valley News chose to reprint articles from other than The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press. Diversity truly is the spice of life, and I would love to see reprints from The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, The Epoch Times, the New York Post or other sources that have a different point of view from the aforementioned.

I really do object to the name-calling that we see reprinted in the Valley News. Columnist Steve Nelson is only one offender. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t make that person a liar, a racist, a deplorable or a misogynist. Look to the friendship between Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, two Supreme Court justices who were political opposites who loved to socialize with each other. They took vacations together. They truly enjoyed each other’s company. It would be a good thing if we could disagree without being disagreeable. As Rodney King said, “Can we all get along?”

STUART RICHARDS

Norwich

Democrats again bray piteously

With their usual degree of self-awareness and their reverence for the double standard, the very Democrats — including the president-elect — who spent the last four years denying the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency are incensed that he has seen fit to return the favor. And after repeatedly demonstrating that they held the removal of Trump from office by any means necessary to be wholly justified, they’re outraged at being suspected of election rigging. They never bray more piteously than when given a taste of their own medicine or forced to reap what they’ve sown.

However, President-elect Joe Biden’s call for unity (the time for which mysteriously comes and goes with the arrival and departure of Democratic administrations) has put me in a conciliatory frame of mind and spurred me to craft a couple of appropriate slogans for use by the donkeys in the next election: “Make America Great Britain again!” and “Our ideas are new, and this time they’ll work!”

ANTHONY STIMSON

Lebanon

A lamentable court decision

I read with dismay and sadness the account of a Supreme Court decision on restrictions imposed on religious observances, which resulted in the issuance of a temporary restraining order being upheld against the state of New York (“Justices toss virus limits for churches,” Nov. 27).

It would appear this disagreement, and indeed the whole case, was unnecessary, the emergency health decrees in question having expired. Ordinarily, this should have resulted in a case being settled or withdrawn. Supreme Court practice has always been to dismiss cases that are moot.

This being so, it would appear the justices were just offering their opinions as to matters of religious freedom in the abstract. It was a temporary order in a temporary case, and will have no significance as far as the litigants or jurisprudence are concerned. It merely signals a shift in the disposition of the court. Being totally unnecessary, it is therefore lamentable. It is lamentable for having purported to decide issues of fact that had yet to be reached by the lower court. The Supreme Court does not try facts. It is an appeals court, and decides only matters of law. And it is lamentable for the inexcusably personal remarks concerning fellow justices that were made in the opinions.

It may well be that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order over-reached. Justice Neil Gorsuch surely has a point. Laws should not single out religious groups and observances for special treatment. But neither should the Supreme Court.

Houses of worship are not exempt from the requirements of civil law. To make them so is a perversion of the First Amendment. It is a violation of it for the court to purport to establish itself as the arbiter of what is and is not religious activity. That is the slippery slope on which our court now finds itself perched. And it is a sad day when our justices should find it excusable to engage in such intemperate remarks concerning their colleagues and the parties before them in a case that apparently should never have reached their doorstep.

TYLER P. HARWELL

Perkinsville

There’s lots of local broadcast coverage in Vt.

To all in New Hampshire dejected by Comcast’s irresponsible decision to cut ties with WMUR-TV, I invite you to cross the river and move to Vermont. The Granite State has twice as many residents, after all, and Vermont officials never ceased in calling for more people.

You want local news and weather? Between WCAX, WFFF, WVNY and Vermont Public Radio, you’ll have more in-state broadcast coverage than you can handle. While you’re at it, consider moving to Bradford or Newbury and vote to support the Oxbow school budget.

Don’t forget to quarantine first!

JARED PENDAK

Bradford, Vt.

Sacrifices of the WWII generation

Willem Lange’s column of Nov. 18 should be required reading (“Sacrifices we must make today pale in comparison”). It speaks to the sacrifices we as Americans made during World War II. These sacrifices affected the way we lived our lives in so many ways every day for four years.

He finishes his column by saying, “So don’t grouse to me of the personal sacrifices demanded by this virus. Most of you have no idea.” And amen to that.

NANCY PARKER

Lebanon




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