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home : opinion : opinion April 29, 2016

5/23/2013 6:00:00 AM
Column: Patriots have no fear of opposing views

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

A letter writer earlier this month took my editors to task for having the temerity to publish opinions that weren't of the conservative variety ["Opinion Page Needs the Right Stuff," May 13].

"Most people I talk to in Kingman tend to be conservative," the writer wrote. "We vote conservative. Do you really think that they want to read those liberal opinions? I notice the paper seems to be turning in that direction ..."

A couple of points: The Kingman Daily Miner is not "turning liberal," as the writer fears. Indeed, most opinions and editorials of any successful newspaper reflect readers' values.

Clearly, the majority of our daily opinions represent conservative viewpoints, but not all of them, and that's a good thing. We'll get to that point in a minute.

Second: the writer seems to think conservatives only want to read conservative viewpoints. I assume he believes all liberals only want to read liberal viewpoints.

On this point he could be correct, and that should scare the heck out of anyone who truly puts the truth and good of the country ahead of their party.

It has become obvious that many Americans, liberals and conservatives alike, have decided the other side is beneath contempt. We wouldn't spit on them if they were on fire.

We used to be able to agree to disagree. Now, we just agree to hate each other. Loudly and with gusto, we belittle the other side.

We call each other names such as libtards and Rethuglicans. Everything is reduced down to a highly personal and offensive level.

Good manners and robust debate have been discarded on the cold ashes of what we once called civility.

Too many of us have taken politics and turned it into a slightly scary religious cult. Outside viewpoints shall not be tolerated and heretics will figuratively be burned at the stake.

Question: Why wouldn't you want to read a contrasting opinion once in a while? Isn't it still wise to keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

Running with the herd simply to have something to belong to is the ideology of a gang member. And herds, once they get running, often plunge en masse right off a cliff.

I value differing opinions. I value someone who can articulate an opposing viewpoint with reason and a conspicuous lack of emotion.

That's why I read them all. I read those I respect and I read those I despise. I only stop reading if they've been caught in a lie, which is often, or - snob alert - their writing is so poorly crafted I can't be bothered.

At the risk of sounding all hoity toity, a newspaper's opinion page is home to the marketplace of ideas. This concept, that there is a marketplace for ideas, holds to the principle that everyone should be given the right and the means to be heard.

It is in this way that better ideas overtake mediocre ideas and it is in this way that the truth sees the light of day.

The letter writer touched a nerve with me, obviously, because I don't think it's wise to ignore what people are saying, no matter who they are or what they have to say.

Unfortunately, it seems we've crossed a line we may never step back from again. The country, that is to say, all of us, will be the worse for it.

The great irony here is that while both conservatives and liberals claim to distrust the federal government, members of the Millionaire's Club in D.C. laugh out loud as we fight amongst ourselves while they get enriched and entrenched.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: ex GOP

[Comment deleted for excessive length.]

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research


I think it's importnat that all y'all remember that the people commenting on articles and the articles and letters themselves are different things.

Anyone surprised that people commenting here are less than tactful, diplomatic or intelligent should find a quieter corner of the internet.

I come here to see more conservative and rural viewpoints than I know I'll get through Fox News. It's like the people of Kingman are an amazing filter that will skim the hardest right things that tend to stick. It's what stick that's interesting...

About the liberal viewpoints - apparently you all need to take a trip over to msnbc.com and see what a real lefty-left viewpoints looks like.

Numerous times someone has commented that all liberals have a mental illness, of which the main symptom is socially concerned liberal viewpoints. If that's not hate, please tell me where hate begins - I'm curious how much leeway you need.

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Jimi Lightfoot

Great piece.

All you left out was the media’s responsibility for intensifying the rift.

Media sensationalizing, subjective audio video editing and outright lies about and associating conservative values with racism and violence.

Meanwhile the leftist media engaged in glamorizing the law breaking of the Occupy Movement and turning blind eyes to IRS prejudicial malfeasance, (meanwhile warning Conservatives not to “overreach” and complain TOO much,) ignoring the cowardly response from Obama and Clinton to Benghazi and actively engaging in covering up this administrations corruptions.

Yes we Conservatives are angry and the Liberal still accuses us of racism and hate.

Our rights are being trounced on and the Liberal sees the religious and Conservative being persecuted and punished as they feel is appropriate.

Of course they don’t understand why we complain. Things are going perfect for them and their ideologies.

What they fail to understand is the subversion of Constitutional rights now will affect them later when another party or ideology takes power.
The precedent will have already been set.

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

@ Linda Athens

"We don't hate Obama."

Wow! Exactly when did you do an "About Face" or can we just file that with your other "Pack Of Lies" that you have told in the past. I believe that one rates up there as one of the "Biggest" boldface lies you've ever told.

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Bonnie Kelley

I don't think the letter was real. I feel it was just a liberal troll. I don't know any conservative afraid of liberal views. Not to mention the way it was written. I think you should have ignored it as I did.

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

The way discussing here is now is because there is such a chasm between the left and the right. It didn't used to be that way but that's the way it is now. To expect such opposite views to be co-tolerant is unrealistic now. This country is divided because of these opposite views. The only way to change the current turmoil is for 1 of the opposite sides to cave to the other side. I see no reason for that to happen in the near future. They are too far apart.

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

Doug I commend your bravery at actually writing a fair and balanced column in the Miner. It is the best thing I have read since I started reading the online posts. This all started when the Republican party became to cozy with the southern religious leaders like Fallwell and Ralph Reed and others that believe they and they alone have a pipeline to God. When God is on your side the rest of the world be damned. These ministers who amassed fortunes in the name of God while preaching hate and intolerance have totally missed the point of the teachings of Jesus. They complain that someone has taken away their rights yet the rights they want back were outlawed by the supreme court as wrong and unjust. They wrap themselves in the flag and call themselves patriots when a real patriot would not bring his AK 47 to a political rally anymore than he would bring his bible. We are a country of many and we need to work together in that end. Politics has become corrupted with money and the way we finance our elections. The rich can have an undue influence in peoples lives simply by spending money against people who would bring real change. Until we change that nothing else will change. But I must say that you have given me hope because when I started reading the miner it was all conservatives and now we are getting a broader cross section of the real population of Kingman. Great column thanks Doug

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: Frank in Kingman

American Patriot,
What your describing is a desire for a Communist state. One party, one opinion, one voice. If you don't follow the party line, you get shipped off to Siberia. When you talk to your friends, do you call the Comrade?

Have a nice hate filled day.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

@"anonymous anonymous"....you just invoked Jesus to damn everyone disagreeing with you to eternal hell. What would we d without people like you to oppose the haters?

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: O.P. OriginalPatriot

The founders and original patriots of this country would have been locked up behind bars in the world we live today. They were extreme in there views and would surely be in Gitmo or some other lock down. For certain though they would have never voted for repubs or dems especially after all those parties have not done for us.. Instead they would have most certainly been Constitutional or Libertarian, Green Party or just Independent. Lets not forget that they were Patriots but they were also rebels and refused to submit to the will and tyranny of men.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Well one thing I knew this article would do is make the angry, hatemongers come out of the wood work spewing their lies, conspiracy theories on everything from birtherism to fraud in elections etc.! The ones who spew the most hate cannot ever see what they spew as hate to them its truth, factual no matter how crazy it sounds to us normal folks! One cannot fix a racist, bigot or a xenophobe these must be mental illnesses beyond mankind's cure but Jesus has their cure waiting for them on judgment day no matter whom they are, no matter what political party they belong to, he will either know them or not! Hence one to his flock of sheep one to the flock of goats!

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: De Nube

Debating is a lost art today. I use to have a great time debating all the main subjects, but today people take their party's stance and can't seem to think on their own. Most of the issues we have today in this country are not new and have very simple solutions. Since most issues have a history, we can look back and see what works and what doesn't. Of course the spin existed back then also, so we must recognize the facts....good luck, but that's one of the keys to the simple solutions...get the facts. Wish us luck, for America needs it!!

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Jimi Lightfoot

[Comment deleted for excessive length.]

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Moderately Independent

Doug, I must say that I agree with much of what you wrote here and some of the response that has so far been given is to be expected.

Although the politics of our country is very polarized at this time I believe that the majority of us will tire of it and will start electing folks who will express a willingness to work for the best of the country, not the best of the special interests. The first step in acheiving this in my humble opinion is to overturn Citizen's United. A good second step would be to institute term limits for those in Congress. A third step may be to limit the influence of special interests and lobbiests.

When "We the People" start demanding that those we choose to elect to represent us actually work for "We the People", instead of a chosen few, and also realize that they have a limited time to do the job they were elected to do perhaps we will have good, honest folks to choose from no matter what party they are from. Folks who actually are patriots and want to do what is best for the country and will be moderate enough to work across the aisle with each other like reasonable, responsible adults.

To paraphrase John Lennon, "You may call me a Dreamer, but I'm not the only one"!

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

Mohave County demographics according to the census versus the average American community, older, less diverse, lower educational attainment, lower income, 25% in mobile homes, more likely to be on disability.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“You do realize, most of the hate comes from the left?”

How dare you even attempt to make such a statement in light of the venomous postings you have made here regarding anyone that you do not like – be it the president – Willard the Money Hider before he became your BF – or people who post here who disagree with you. When it comes to hate the poison flowing from the right, here alone, is truly disgusting.

“What we hate is thet our Constitution has been trampled, our flag burned and our hopes now dashed daily.”

I will ask that you provide some empirical evidence of the Constitutions being “trampled?” Thank you. As to the flag being burned – that is one of the protections offered by the very Constitution that you supposedly support. “Hopes dashed daily?” If you are referring to your hope that women will no longer be allowed the right to make their own personal and private medical decisions I support your hopes being dashed - forever.

“And we have elected a President (fraudulently by my findings)…”

And as they have been for the past five years your findings are incorrect and based on nonsense.

“Even his first election to the Senate was won by fraud. …it's well documented if you know where to look, in Conservative columns …”

And that says it all. Nothing factual just opinion columns written by right wing fools. Pathetic.

“… demonstrating peacefully, Department of Homeland Security swooped in on the Tea Partiers who demonstrated against the IRS targeting them.”

Nope, incorrect.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle


I must admit, I agree with you here. Many people here do post their opinions as fact. From both sides of the fence.

As to the rest of the comments, you can all see where the hate and disdain came from to begin with. Of course, they will also blame it on those who believe opposite of them.

It does make a person chuckle.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck Wilson

I would like to know why hasn’t the Miner reported on how the Oklahoma tornado was created by Obama because not a single voter in Moore voted for him. I guess Miner is like the rest of the liberal main stream media, and trying cover up the miss deeds of the Obama White House.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Obama is great

Doug what do you expect this is Kingman.
There is the rest of the educated world and then there is Mohave County. It’s the only place where people complain about people receiving government money when they are receiving the same money. They are hypocrites. It’s okay for me to have it but not for everybody else. It’s also a county that don’t dare to think for themselves and realize what Fox News and Glenn Beck and Rush are saying is not the truth. Because of this they are led to believe that Obama is worse than Satan and everything is his fault. I can’t pay my rent, it’s Obama’s fault. My husband beats me, it’s Obama’s fault.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: American Patriot

Why do I want to read about what a socialist, Marxist liberal has to say. All liberals are un-American and should be kicked out of the country. The only real Americans are those who vote for the GOP. They are the true caretakers of our great country. The only thing the democrats want to do is destroy this great country. God Bless America. God Bless our Troops. God Bless the all mighty red white and blue. God Bless the Second Amendment. God Bless the greatest President ever Ronald Regan. God Bless the Republican Party.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Frank in Kingman

Now you've done it. Your stooped to all out lies that your paper is not becoming a liberal leaning pit of hell. How dare you try to talk of common sense in a column. You of all people should know better.

"We call each other names such as libtards and Rethuglicans. Everything is reduced down to a highly personal and offensive level."
There are several reasons why this statement could be wrong.
1. A typo.
2. Key on computer sticking.
3. Suddenly forgetting how to spell.
4. They went out to the ballet the night before and they got confused and were thinking about leotard when they were typing liberal.

"The letter writer touched a nerve with me, obviously, because I don't think it's wise to ignore what people are saying, no matter who they are or what they have to say."

I'm sorry Doug, I wasn't paying attention.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Common Sense

Good column, Doug. I agree that it is good to hear other viewpoints, if you have an open mind. I get my news from the old favorites (NBC, CBS & ABC), CNN, FOX, HLN and a few print sources, but I try to listen with an open mind. I have favorite columnist on both the liberal and conservative sides that write interesting columns that make you think. Some factual-some opinions, but all thought provoking.
I think the problem is we have a lot of people who refuse to even consider a point of view other than the one they have. Most of these are sitting in their underwear with Cheetos stained fingers just waiting for someone to comment on something so they can attack. Of course, they always demand proof of what the other person says, yet provide no proof of what they say other than "you're wrong" , "that's a lie" etc or post a fictitious letter under the name of someone they disagree with. Oops, sorry! That wasn't very civil was it.
I just ignore those people and don't even respond because they aren't interested in conversation. They are just wanting to show how intelligent they think they are and how ignorant they think the rest of the world is.
Everybody is entitled to an opinion and even though I may not agree, if it is a valid, well thought-out one, it is worth listening to and considering. Just attacking someone because they are Christian or because they aren't, because they like this President or don't like him, or because they are liberal or conservative does not make a lot of sense.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Mr. McMurdo:

I appreciate your column but take you to task in a couple of areas. You can write with emotion and still be civil. The Founders did it all the time.

And on the two sides and hate? You do realize, most of the hate comes from the left? Not always this way, a few years back the two sides could agree to disagree.

But then something happened. Far left radicals took over our school systems, putting out many students that were basically brainwashed against our grand setup. Don't believe me, read David Horowitz's books like Radical Son. He was one of them.

If it appears we on the right hate, you're wrong. What we hate is thet our Constitution has been trampled, our flag burned and our hopes now dashed daily.

And we have elected a President (fraudulently by my findings) who has stated our Constitution is flawed and faulty. This is the greatest document man ever came up with but in Obama's high mindedness, he feels it is subpar and he will fix it by trampling it. He has done little to better the world but be a dishonest community organizer with marxist leanings.

Even his first election to the Senate was won by fraud. Don't take my word for that, it's well documented if you know where to look, in Conservative columns because the left conveniently never reported on it.

We don't hate Obama. We hate what he and those who blindly follow him have done to our country. And please, take note of where the real hate comes from. You could start by comparing the Tea Party people with Occupy Wall Street people. Tuesday, while demonstrating peacefully, Department of Homeland Security swooped in on the Tea Partiers who demonstrated against the IRS targeting them.

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: az mac

Good article

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article comment by: Capt. Nice

It would be a boring world if we didn't have liberal views to keep we rational thinking people amused.
I grew up in a house hold of Democrats and as I got older and wiser I saw the errors of their ways and decided to think on my own.
Of course my Democrat family disowned me and one of my Brothers, but we love them anyway.

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