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LETTER TO EDITOR: 'Black-white' view of world troubling

To the editor:

I too am tired of Mr. Hexum's submissions. I have responded to more than one. His letters are highly insulting to those with a different point of view. (It's like getting poked in the eye with a stick every few weeks.) His repeated insults and distortions are far worse than Mr. Tweeton's "sarcasm"-or was it satire?-and are deserving of a sharp response. Can Ms. Werner not see the insults? Does she think that those on the receiving end should simply "buck up" and remain silent? How else can one respond to someone who so relentlessly and recklessly distorts the views of others and then vilifies and insults them for holding those fictitious views?

The following are worth noting:

1. Liberalism has a proud history and has contributed profoundly to the success of our country. It doesn't have all of the answers. But it certainly has many and has helped to forge countless effective political solutions. (The same can be said of conservatism.) Is Mr. Hexum unaware of that history?

2. Mr. Hexum either does not understand liberalism or consciously chooses to distort it. It's either ignorance or deceit. Neither reflects well on Mr. Hexum. I would hope that Ms. Werner endorses neither.

3. Mr. Tweeton was demonstrating the silliness of Mr. Hexum's attacks on liberalism. Perhaps, as Ms. Werner suggests, Mr. Tweeton was being sarcastic. Maybe he was being satirical. Maybe some of each. Neither is inherently bad. Both have been used well and with care by many great writers. Mr. Tweeton has not even come close to stepping over any line of civility.

4. Mr. Tweeton is setting a fine example for his students. He has provided them with some samples of good writing and has shown them by his example that there is a point to learning-the ability to think critically, express that thought clearly, and bravely participate in the affairs of this country.

5. Most of us decry the negativity and awful partisanship that now runs rampant in our country. Much of that consists of ignorance and deceit. Mr. Hexum is an active participant in this excessive partisanship. Maybe Mr. Hexum doesn't care. Maybe the strength and future of this country are less important to him than bringing others into his little tent.

6. Dietrich Bonhoeffer would have endorsed neither Mr. Hexum's views nor his tactics.

7. The fact that there are many people who have a "black-white" view of things proves nothing. While I agree that there are some things that are "black and white", most are not. That outlook is dangerous in the diverse world that we inhabit. I would caution Ms. Werner against getting too comfortable with it.

I'm a bit surprised by the paper's willingness to continue to provide a forum to Mr. Hexum. Mr. Hexum certainly has the right to express his views, but does not the paper at some point have the right to say "enough"? It's not as if Mr. Hexum adds new ideas with each of his letters. It's the same old stuff time after time. Other papers exercise some editorial control in situations like this. I wish the Perham paper would. Mr. Hexum fired the opening salvo. Let someone else do the closing.

John Minge