‘Stop yelling, start listening' 

While illustrating how wrong it was to attempt to link progressives to what I referred to as history’s biggest mass murderer, Marty corrects my error by indicating that Joseph Stalin held that title, and that he (Stalin) is “admired by some progressives even today.” Do I need to point out the irony of that statement, or the fact that such a comment is also (as Marty said) a “sophomoric polemic”? Again, where is the proof that progressives are promoting genocide?

Marty continues to lambaste my proof of civil rights progress by indicating that the landmark gay marriage law that passed in New York was an assault on Catholics as heinous as his assault on the Jewish people through his comparison of progressives to Hitler. If he supports our Constitution, then he is well aware that religion cannot have any legal bearing on the actions of state. If our Founding Fathers wanted a nation bound by one religious covenant, then there would be nothing to debate. Thankfully, this isn’t a theocracy.

I’m also not entirely sure Marty understood the point I was making with my previous statement about the IRA. It’s an attempt to illustrate how anyone with the desire to link an otherwise nonviolent group to a violent one can be done with nary a shred of evidence. That kind of fuzzy logic is at the core of several conservative TV and radio programs. If conservatives and progressives cannot choose to seek information outside the sources they agree with, how will we ever progress as a society? At some point, we have to stop yelling and start listening.

I’m a huge supporter of our Constitution, and I want to see that all Americans reap its benefits. Moreover, I know for a fact that if Marty and I were locked in a room, neither would emerge blackened; we’d emerge with a better understanding and new-found respect for each other’s views. It’s easy to be indignant to strangers in this forum; it’s a lot harder in person.

— Brandon Wertz
Oklahoma City

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