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Letter: Let’s keep community political discourse civil

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Russell Poling Sr.


The recent letter from Councilman Kenny Whipker is an excellent reminder that although many of us will disagree with each other in the public arena, we must remember to keep our discussions as civil as possible. I have disagreed with members of the City Council from time to time, but I always tried to be civil in my communications to them and in my previous letters to the editor. I have always tried to avoid personal attacks.

What is really distressing is some of the comments made about news stories and letters to the editor on The Republic’s website. I am a strong supporter of the freedom of speech, but some people take it a bit too far. I have seen comments from some folks that are very well said and thought out and do not attack anyone, but then you will see a reply to that comment where the next person just skewers the first person out of maliciousness and downright meanness. Many of the commenters on the website hide behind aliases so no one will know who they are.

I wonder what comments this letter will bring? I have also seen extremely personal attacks against the mayor, members of the City Council and members of boards and commissions. It is perfectly fine to strongly disagree with any of these folks, but there is no reason for hateful and personal attacks. Our elected officials serve our community and are not in it for the money. If you strongly disagree with our elected officials, then vote them out at the next election or better yet run for office if you think you can do a better job.

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