Refusing to tolerate intolerance
Having found ourselves neck-deep in mud dredged up not from county roads but slung from every direction during recent congressional and senatorial primaries, we were encouraged by how little of the icky, sticky stuff seemed to be flung about in local elections.
That encouragement came to a screeching halt — faster than a car avoiding chasm-sized ruts in badly graded rural roads — while we were wandering the halls of the courthouse awaiting results election night.
There we heard the first whispers of what seem to be a coming campaign against one particular candidate in this fall’s general election.
Whether a candidate is bright, what his or her positions on past and future issues might be, whether she or he is a person of integrity and honesty and is community-minded all are valid points to be debated in a voter’s mind.
A candidate’s personal or family life is not. And locker room humor targeting any candidate over such uncontrollable things as race, gender, heritage, ethnicity, or sexual preference cannot in good conscience be tolerated in the 21st century — or, for that matter, in the Biblical times of Jesus.
Candidates and supporters who launch whisper campaigns about such issues deserve to be rejected resoundingly.
Candidate or voter, each of us is different in some regard. Through the years, we’ve learned to revel in our differences and ignore those that honestly don’t make a difference.
When, by voting, we hire someone to become an elected official, we aren’t choosing whom we want to live with, sleep with, go to church with, or enjoy parties and dinners with. We’re hiring someone to help run our government for us. How well he or she can do that is the only thing we should consider.
Last week, we ignored the whispers we heard various political figures starting. But that’s the last time we’ll do so. And we encourage you to do the same.
Any racist, chauvinist, homophobic, misogynist, or otherwise intolerant comment we hear whispered is something we need to shout out from the highest treetop — not to spread the vile comment but to show exactly how unqualified for office any person uttering such a comment might be.
Locker room humor is for losers. Any candidate who hasn’t learned that doesn’t deserve to win.
— ERIC MEYER