September 21st, 2018

‘Rational dialogue’ missing from comments

By Letter to the Editor on January 12, 2018.

Re: “If our society doesn’t fight ‘forces of progressive leftist evil’ then evil will win,” Jan. 5

How unfortunate that Leath Johnston did not provide a less vitriolic contribution to the “rational dialogue” which he professes to favour.

Mr. Johnston says rational dialogue should be the way “civilized, educated, reasonable people discuss matters of importance.” But, he claims without supporting evidence, this is impossible with “zealots” such as columnist Peter Mueller and his supporters.

I suppose that as a friend and former colleague of Mr. Mueller, and a regular reader of his columns, that means me. Guilty by association, if nothing else. Mr. Johnston says that makes me part of a group with “power and wealth who … wish to change our country and province for their benefit, and theirs alone.”

It’s good of Mr. Johnston to alert me to these personal deficiencies. I wonder how he came to his conclusions? I don’t believe we’ve ever met or had a discussion, civilized and rational or otherwise.

Since he gives no reasons, I suppose Mr. Johnston’s judgments are based on intuition. If so, he himself shows their weakness. Seeing me as having power and wealth — and selfishly wanting more — is more than a bit off the mark. In fact, that’s what I’d like our society to share more equally — power and wealth. It could be to everyone’s benefit.

Mr. Johnston’s letter concludes with enough angry words to fill a Fox News telecast. Those who dare propose ideas contrary to his own are “the forces of progressive leftist evil” engaged in “cheap tricks … big lies [and] … low stunts,” intent on “dragging us all to [some] dark space.”

By contrast, Mr. Johnston paints a dramatic and entertaining picture of himself as a dauntless champion of “freedom, truth, and reality.” He will never stop swinging in the fight against “the lies and garbage of the progressive left’s commandments.” He has seen through the “progressive trance of socialist correct speak, lies, and fantasy.”

Mr. Johnston’s goal of rational dialogue might be better served if he woke up from his own trance, abandoned his Quixotic fantasies and provided us with actual information or ideas worth attending to.

David Gue

Medicine Hat

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