The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: mmilbrandt@montenews.com Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

 

Violence is not the answer

A politically motivated gunman took aim at Congressional Repub­li­cans last week. Can we finally cool it with the irresponsible, divisive and increasingly violent political rhetoric?

 

Since the last election, we’ve witnessed a systematic campaign to dehumanize and delegitimize not just our president, but everyone who dares question left-wing orthodoxy. First there were orchestrated outbreaks of violence and vandalism on our streets. That gave way to ongoing efforts to shout down, beat down and silence people exercising their First Amendment rights on college campuses and elsewhere.

 

Before the attempted assassinations, I had hoped that Kathy Griffin’s grotesque publicity stunt posing with an effigy of Donald Trump’s severed head would be the final straw. But with general acceptance (and oftentimes active approval) of these escalating attacks by prominent liberals, the violence we saw on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia was inevitable.

 

I’ve never been more disgusted. But I’ve also never been more motivated to change my own way of discussing politics, which I acknowledge has been acerbic at times.

 

The truth is those conjuring victim groups and vague bogeymen are intentionally dividing us to serve their political goals. Their cynical aim is to pit people against one another, to hem in dissenters, and to railroad better understanding among neighbors. Indeed, this “us vs. them” mindset necessitates hostility.

 

It’s past time to reject this tired, toxic template. Start by getting to know your neighbors a little better, and learn how to have positive, respectful discussions, even about politics. Take the time to understand and to explain without insults. Who knows, you might learn something that changes your point of view too.

—Kyle  Christensen

Montevideo Senior High School Class of 1991

Lakeville

 

Graduation advice

Graduates, do you realize what high school graduation has done for you? It has helped you go from a local family to a world family. It has expelled you onto a stage from which there is no retreat. It has led you to a vast world which can be a threat, or the greatest opportunity of your life. You need to choose. You are not alone. You are one of only many actors in this future of yours. You have help! God blessed you with a guardian angel and the Holy Spirit on the day you were born. Have you learned how to use them? If not, it’s never too late. There are other students and a whole cadre of adults who stand by willing to help you in this great transition and long into your future, no matter what age you attain. Granted, there are bad actors too. Those who will try to take advantage of you or lead you astray of your greatest plans and achievements. Ask for help and never give up! You need help to attain the “best you can possibly be.” No one achieves true success on their very own. Please know you will hit bumps, and they will seem to “throw” you. Stick to the path and with the help you seek, you can achieve greatness. Praise be the stout-hearted.

 

—Dave Swenson

Montevideo