On Feb 14th, a letter I wrote to the local paper was published; I was making a point about how the public discourse, especially on social media, is descending into something akin to a mob mentality.
A week later, the paper published a rebuke by a woman who evidently is entrenched in a leftist ideology. She refers to my letter, as well as to another one that was not published online, only in print.
I could not help but be bewildered by her accusations; I was even speaking about it with someone in my neighbourhood, who’d read both articles, and he also did not understand how she had read those things in my letter.
I sent a rebuke to the newspaper, but even after two weeks, they have not printed nor put it online, so I thought I’d post it here.
I would like to thank Ms. Fowler for her letter in response to mine; whereas I was simply advocating for more civility – especially online – as well as becoming so entrenched in ideologies that we won’t even remotely contemplate the possibility that anyone else may have a point. But somehow, in her view, my letter was about “addressing how misinformation causes a mob mentality”. What? How?
I will let Mr. Leugner debate his point about socialism, although I do not believe that humans have found a way to make socialism work quite right, as we can see from the recent abandonment of socialist governments across Canada and the expected continuation of this trend this year. However, I will chime in that his reference to “Atlas Shrugged” was, in my opinion, a propos – it is an incredible piece of literature that should be mandatory reading for all. Ms. Fowler obviously subscribes to a leftist ideology that advocates group identity politics, referring to a “dangerous individualistic view”. Ayn Rand came from exactly that type of regime, one that left millions of corpses in its wake; she tried to warn us about the perils of such systems, but it seems we have hardly learned. The individual should be at the center of all our efforts: individual rights, freedoms, opportunities, etc.
According to her, my letter was about “the dismantling of privilege that is being challenged in the broader discourse by those that are currently benefiting”; again…what?? No, it wasn’t. At all.
On another note, I feel I must address the Covington issue: first of all, I did not FOCUS on it, I simply used it as an example of people being entrenched in ideological rhetoric despite being presented with new facts. The event took place on Friday afternoon, and by Saturday the media had painted a picture of a victimized Indigenous Vietnam vet harassed by a white, male MAGA hat-wearing youth; based on group identity politics and the racist incidents of the school Ms. Fowler refers to, that’s enough to make this young man guilty by association – let’s just completely disregard the individual, because that would be dangerous. By his own admission later in the weekend, Mr. Phillips admitted that he’d never actually been deployed to Vietnam, but that he had served in the US Marines DURING the Vietnam War; that’s quite a different story! According to Ms. Fowler, that was “misinformation also repeated by Sauve”, but I’m not clear exactly what this misinformation is – I usually make a good effort to validate the accuracy of what I write. Again, the point I was making was that despite new information surfacing within a few days of the incident, people were still spewing hateful rhetoric against Nick Sandmann and pitying the poor “victim”. Hence my exhortation to be careful not to allow ourselves to descend into a mob mentality; evidently, that point was entirely missed by Ms. Fowler.
And finally, at the closing of her letter, Ms. Fowler once again reiterates that the spirit of my letter was about the “dismantling/revealing of privilege making people like Leugner and Sauve uncomfortable and yearning a return to the good ol’ days”. Sigh. I am male, and I am white, and I am totally comfortable with both those attributes, even though the feminist left would paint me as the scourge of society, a pathology to be treated (according to the recent APA guidelines on men and masculinity, too). I have yet to meet this mythical being who wants to “return to the good ol’ days”. In early 2018, Chatelaine conducted a survey of 1,000 men aged 25 to 65 across Canada; 79% of men agree that women should have equal rights and opportunities (I would’ve thought it would be higher, as I have yet to meet a man who disagrees with this), yet only 18% would consider themselves a feminist. That is a huge disconnect, and indicates the problem of feminism seeing men as the problem rather than allies for change.
I have nothing against lofty ideals – they provide objectives to work towards and improve the lives of all humans. Ideologies, however, are dangerous, divisive, and detrimental to intelligent debate.