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Bruce Whittier: Intolerance leads away from finding middle ground

  • shironosov


Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Intolerance leads away from middle ground

Intolerance may only depend on who’s carrying the ball.

For several years, I have continually and faithfully read the Opinion page of the Gazette, mostly as a source of entertainment rather than a serious source of unbiased and open thought.

One of the columnists I’ve come to admire more and more as the years go by is Dr. Jay Fleitman. That is not necessarily because of his comments or viewpoints on varying matters, but more as a function of his tenacity and fearless spirit in the face of overwhelming odds.

I really believe there are many more readers who agree with much of the information and opinions that Fleitman shares with us. But most are fearful of the intolerant behavior and ridicule that will be cast upon them by the so-called tolerant left. So they never send their thoughts along for publication.

A recent letter by one reader suggests the Gazette find some other conservative to represent the right in this newspaper (“Criticizes columnist’s view on freedom of speech,” Sept. 11). She writes, “I for one would welcome rational and informative discussion of conservative ideas,” while accusing Fleitman of making “overblown and misleading rants.” I can’t help but think she really meant to say the Gazette needs to find more guest columnists that agree with her political ideology, yet call themselves a conservative.

The “Thought for Today” in this same issue of the Gazette was most ironic: “I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance.” That was said by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the English poet and author who lived between 1772 and 1834.

Strange, after all this time, that intolerance of each other’s ideas seems to catapult us further and further away from finding the middle of the road on things.

Bruce Whittier

Southampton