Letter to the Editor: Pipe Dreams

Dear Editor,

It is time to come together. It is time for people with opposing views to sit at the same table, get to know each other, state their views on issues of contention and enter in to civil debate knowing that they will neither win nor lose as the mutual goal is to understand the reasoning of the opposition and make attempt at consensus. Each should try with great effort; yes it will take great effort to allow the other side to state their position without interruption and avoid talking on top of the other. A couple of examples of the worst are people like Chris Mathews and Bill O’Reilly on the opposite sides of the political spectrum. These and their ilk should be removed from our airwaves. It saddens me to see what our ‘news’ stations have evolved into and I truly believe that most moderate clear thinking Americans are weary and sick of it. The amplification of the far right and the far left by the media always in search of controversy is very much to blame for the stagnation and I don’t use the term lightly, of our government. A great author Andrew Solomon writing a review of a book in the NY Times about teenage bullying writes “adult bullies from talk radio to Congress get constant airtime, and in many quarters their belligerence is applauded”. Very sad and I could not have said it better.

Locally there are many issues that become contentious and you have heard them all: Crossroads, fracking, NYCDEP, gun ownership, locals, flatlanders, development, no development, probably missed some. Let not the moderate, clear thinking majority be drowned out by the radicals on the far sides of important issues. I quote an Iraqi official MV Musawi: “there are so many sectarian speeches that encourage our people to hate each other”. Please let us not become an Iraq, I plead to all, respect your opponent, hear him or her out, debate civilly and in the end buy him or her a beer. Let us all bring back and maintain civility and respect to all our disagreements as this is what America should be all about.

This effort may all sound like pie in the sky, but I truly feel that it is worth and at this time it is incumbent that all take due consideration.

Jack McShane