You know, I’ve had it up to here with the political polarization in this country. Not that politics weren’t nasty in the past, but it’s gotten to the point where the polarization is seriously affecting the ability of ordinary citizens to discuss even non-controversial topics. What’s more, non-controversial topics are turned into weapons to be used to attack the opposing side.
Case in point. There was a letter to the editor in the Morrison County Record a couple of weeks ago from the chair of the Morrison County Republican Party attempting to make light of complaints about a hay wagon covered with Republican campaign signs being prominently displayed on a main thoroughfare in town. Of course there should be complaints about such things because we have a sign ordinance and there are rules about campaigning out of season. It presents an unfair advantage to the party engaging in such behavior and if the Morrison County DFL had done the same thing, I’d expect the same kinds of complaints.
In response to the letter, my husband left an online comment about how the Morrison County Republican Party was playing a game with citizens. Here’s the response he got from someone calling him/herself Southeast LFer:
A game Erik? That’s ok, I continue to work 65 hours a week so the government can confiscate my money and redistribute it so people like you can plant a garden. This is not a game Sir.
Note that Southeast LFer has decided to remain anonymous as he jabs my husband about the community garden he planted to provide fresh produce to the Morrison County Food Shelf. In contrast, Erik openly applied his full name to his comment.
Can I tell you how mad Southeast LFer’s comment makes me? Probably not. In what universe is feeding the hungry a problem? Particularly when a few hundred dollars worth of grant and personal money and hundreds of hours spent between my husband and other dedicated volunteers produced over 4,000 pounds of fresh vegetables for the Food Shelf during its first two years of operation. Lest Southeast LFer missed this, let me state clearly that my husband did NOT get paid for his service, so Southeast LFer need not worry his head that any of his tax money went toward supporting my husband.
What makes me more irritated than the tenor of the comment is the fact that Southeast LFer chose to throw his barb behind a shield of anonymity. If he’s going to make personal attacks, the least he could do is have the courage to own them.
This is a small county and an even smaller town. We’re going to have to walk around knowing that we could bump into someone carrying this kind of animosity toward us all because we decided to provide a community service. That’s what the country’s extreme political polarization has done to ordinary Americans.