I have to admit, I was a bit flummoxed by Deborah Craig’s July 29 My Turn. I originally wrote a reply that would have made Tolstoy blush, lengthwise.
Keeping it simple, I have three or four questions for her.
Without getting into partisan politics —I’m an independent for several reasons —here it goes: Regardless of who wins the November presidential election, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Druid, whomever, do you think all the nastiness and divisiveness will suddenly cease? I mean, will all of America drop everything, form circles hand-in-hand around campfires singing “Puff the Magic Dragon?”
Question No. 2, as a veteran who fully supports free speech, peaceful assembly, marches and honest dialogue, when is it time to go home? I’ve participated in peace discussions and supported marches after my discharge from the Army a half century ago, points were made and activists returned to their daily lives.
So, once again, do you ever wonder if the folks in Portland have jobs, hobbies or families? After spending over two months, do they ever go for a walk on a beach, till a garden, eat a hot dog or tofu salad with an elderly neighbor?
What puzzled me most was Craig’s comment about protests moms and dads lobbing projectiles at law enforcement officers. “Brilliant,” she said. What if an officer felt threatened or panicked and fired live rounds center mass into a crowd of protests moms? Would this still be brilliant? And don’t these “evil forces” that she despises have moms, dads or children awaiting their safe return?
After all, wasn’t the goal of this gathering supposed to be addressing violent cultural, racial inequalities and harmony? Or not? From my lifetime of working with angry people and military service, I’d strongly encourage people not to throw out taunts and threats of violence to others when unprepared to face negative consequences. I can only hope for a future where our kids actually speak and discuss issues without screaming and insulting each other.
As a young man, I saw the opposite in a country far away. It ain’t pretty.
• John Schwinghammer is a longtime resident of Juneau.