Letter: Narrow-minded rhetoric

Narrow-minded rhetoric

A careful reading of the letter “Sickened by the health-care ads” in the Aug. 30 commentary section makes me wonder.

How does Ms. Hanson know that the health-care executive was who he said he was? Did she vet him? Did he offer any supporting information or statistics for his opinions? Does she conclude that he is truthful because she agrees with him? If it’s offensive, is it necessarily a lie? How does she know that the Obamacare ads are completely wrong — that nothing in them is true? Are there any statistics or facts to support them? Could there be some truth to the ads even if the message is “sickening”?

After all, the executive told her that there are things to be fixed and that some people are paying more now than before. Isn’t that partly what the ad is about? Is that part of what the executive said a lie or true? How does she know if other people can afford the extra cost or not? Why does a criticism of Obamacare necessarily equal hatred and racism? Could it possibly be about the law, not his color?

Are all executive actions and programs by Obama good and without reproach simply because he’s an African-American? Is global, stereotypical venom by anyone ever totally true? Are only liberal statements honest and true? Are stereotypes of all Republicans (cruel, uncaring, racist) true but those of Democrats (stupid, live off handouts) aren’t? Of course not. I can envision the answers to these questions (history, Brown killing, etc), and they will prove my point.

The point is to be mentally inquisitive and question, regardless of political persuasion. Recognize the difference between a fact and an unsupported opinion. Recognize the difference between a specific incident (and maybe reported one-sided by media) and leaping to unsubstantiated stereotypical conclusions and name-calling. Recognize that there is enough bias to go around on all sides; and care enough to seek information from a variety of sources in order to have a reasoned opinion. It’s easy to push mute and put on biased blinders. While Ms. Hanson will keep her mute on, perhaps others will seek intellectual honesty.

Pam Earthman

El Jebel