Debate vs. personal attacks
Dear Editor:Scott McDonald, in his harangue against Rachel, Mick and Burlingame (Aspen Times, Jan. 19), most certainly seems proud of himself and his intellect. I always find it revealing to see how those opposed to proposals here couch their opposition. It is the opponents like Scott McDonald whom I personally find to be the ones to be most careful of listening to (uh oh – I hope that is proper grammar).In every issue there are those who bring honest and sincere opposition to an issue and debate the points on their merits. Then there are those like Mr. McDonald, who apparently are unwilling to debate the points on their merit and resort to personal attacks, falsehoods and the misuse of words like “corruption,” seeking to make the issue about personalities and not about the proposal merits or shortcomings. Though I have often found myself on the opposite side of issues with Rachel, she is an elected official with an opinion, and I have found her integrity and intentions to be honest and true. I suppose in Mr. McDonald’s world, anyone who disagrees with him is an idiot. I was always taught that it is the people who think they know the most who have the most to learn.Attacks like Mr. McDonald’s bring the system down and have helped to perpetuate a process fraught with abuse and personal ridicule. Maybe he does it just to make himself laugh. Regardless of who “started it,” I would like to think that people as smart as Mr. McDonald claims to be might be capable of refraining from silly, exaggerated, vindictive and ridiculous accusations. I suppose now I am open to Mr. McDonald’s accusation of being low on the intellect scale – but that’s OK – one stark difference between he and I is I don’t claim to be as smart as he does.Burlingame was approved by a vote of the public – that vote should be honored as the project addresses a real need and will improve our community. Proponents and opponents alike should put away the personal attacks and move forward in a respectful and considered debate. Opponents have a right to bring a referendum forward, and I have the right to say, been there, done that, don’t sign the petition, and if it goes to a vote, vote for continuing with Burlingame.Scott WriterOld Snowmass
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Max Weintraub has been senior curator at the Aspen Art Museum since January 2019.