As an author, my goals are to entertain, to enlighten, to educate, to engage, and at times, to challenge. One thing I try never to do is to incite hate.
We traditionally tend to think of authors as those who write books or plays. As professionals who make a living by writing. But in this day and age, anyone who writes a blog, an email, a text, a Tweet, a Facebook post, a customer review, or an online commentary, is in fact an author; an author whose oeuvre is as indelible and permanent as the authors of To Kill a Mockingbird or Mein Kampf.
In today’s Salt Lake Tribune a friend of mine, Dave Folland, had a letter to the editor published. Dave’s a retired pediatrician who now volunteers his time and energy to Citizens Climate Lobby, a wonderful, politically nonpartisan grassroots organization with the goal of creating the political will to pass climate change legislation in Congress. (In the interest of full disclosure, I too am a member of CCL.)
CCL recently presented Rep. Mia Love, a Republican Congresswoman of Utah, an award for being an active member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, one of the few truly bipartisan bodies in Congress. Indeed, in order to become a member, a Democrat and Republican must join simultaneously. To date there are 21 from each party, working constructively, side by side, on their climate agenda. Dave’s letter was an endorsement of the award bestowed upon Rep. Love.
Personally, while I appreciate Rep. Love’s courage for going against her party’s grain and speaking forthrightly about the challenges of climate change, I don’t think to date her actual actions have merited this particular award any more than dozens of others. Though it should be acknowledged that for a Republican politician in Utah, the country’s reddest state, to take even that level of a public position requires a degree of courage rarely demonstrated by our other representative, I disagree with her on almost every other issue. That, however, in no way condones the kind of repugnant invective hurled at her and Dave in the online comments by my ideological comrades. Here are but a few:
If she acknowledges the problem, but fails to criticize Trump’s withdrawal from Paris Accord or take any other action, I would suggest instead that we send her a bottle of Ivanka’s Complicit perfume.
Typical spineless Republican hypocrite.
So Doc, are you going to be handing out awards to Lee, Hatch, Chaffetz, Stewart, Love and environmental terrorist Rob Bishop?
Jeez Doc, you really puckered up for that bit of tripe!
One good act in a swarm of evil doesn’t make her decent.
More like a swarm of Mia sitting on her keister.
One possibility: Mia is conceived in Haiti and ends up in Utah and declares it … “Feels cooler to Me!”
The Doc must be wrangling for federal funds or a job, otherwise why write this fantasy LTE. Come on, Doc, what’s your angle?
I feel her “climate” award is nothing but a phony pat on her back by a bunch of pathetic lap dogs.
Yup! just another piece of S—-
I‘ll tell you what. The minute she walks into the Oval office and tells Donald Trump that he’s a horses a** for his climate denial dementia, I will be glad to send her a thank you note.
If she were to walk in to the oval office, you know Trump will asker her “do you want to blow me?”
Mia then asks, “Is there an award for that?”
More likely he’d ask her why she was late emptying the trash cans in the oval office. I’m sure Donnie T. has no clue that Mia “tap-dancing” Love is an actual congress person.
And these are the people with whom I agree on the issue of climate change. Think about those who disagree and read vitriol like this.
Is there really any surprise that a deeply troubled James Hodgkinson went on a rampage and shot Sen. Scalise? The real wonder is that this doesn’t happen everyday, though in the future I fear it will. It appears Americans, from both the right and the left, have learned absolutely nothing from the Scalise shooting about the connection between hateful speech and violent action. Yes, there was a 24-hour ceasefire with much hand wringing. Now, after the obligatory platitudes we’re back to our daily routine of character assassination.
To my friends on the left, if we want to encourage Rep. Love to do more, to work with members of the Climate Solutions Caucus on crafting meaningful climate legislation, rather than insult and condemn with revolting language, what would be so objectionable to saying, “Yes, so far you’ve taken a small step, but at least it’s a step in the right direction”? What harm is there in saying that? Is that not macho enough? To my friends on both ends of the political spectrum, would it not be better to try to heal wounds, to be the adult in the room, to be the first to say “enough,” to painstakingly attempt to forge consensus, instead of burning everyone with whom we disagree at the stake? Is it not possible to turn a ceasefire into a truce into a lasting peace?
Can’t we hold our pens a moment longer and think before we write? After all, we’re all authors here, and authors can choose the words they use.