It's a presidential election year, and the rhetoric's already ramping up.
So that means we're in for months of insults, false insinuations, rumors and outright lies from politicians and their representatives, all claiming, "You can trust us!!! We're the only ones who own truth!"
The lack of respect toward opposing views today amazes me. Standing up strongly for an opinion is good and desirable. Trying to destroy the reputations of others just because they disagree, or forcibly silence the opposition, is not desirable...it only shows the accusers' lack of confidence that their own view can prevail.
The National Conference of Editorial Writers is stepping up with a project, "Restoring Civility to America's Public Discourse."
You'll note several sub-pages on their site. Check them out to see newspaper insiders' views on what would be hate speech if directed at minorities.
One comment stands out to me. In the words of Luanne Rife of the Roanoke Times:
"Anonymous posters to our RoundTable (the editorial page blog) on the Roanoke Times website) often start their comments with generalities -- "All conservatives think..." or "You liberals are so..." -- then punctuate them with a charge of hypocrisy or stupidity. In between, they pack in plenty of mean. Sound familiar?"
The United States is built on freedom of speech. That right is too precious to abuse.