So what's the problem? You can't handle ideas you don't like?

It has come to my attention that a handful of regular readers to The Day have threatened to cancel their longtime newspaper subscriptions because of the conservative-leaning column written weekly by yours truly. Granted, people threatening to cancel their subscriptions when they see something they don’t like in the newspaper is as old as newspapers. But cashing in your chips and running for the hills because someone has an alternative point of view? One 800-word, right-leaning column is a cause of such stress and heartache that you ditch a regular routine and a source of so much information?

I can't believe you’d give up so easily.

There is a good chance your parents and their parents before them read this newspaper. It's likely every significant personal life milestone — your birth, your marriage, family obituaries — were chronicled on the pages of The Day. I'm sure when the nation wept over 9-11 or the space shuttle disaster, you turned to these pages to get much of your information and find local connections. When local issues challenged and changed Connecticut's landscape, including BRAC threatening the closure of the submarine base, eminent domain, and the birth of the casinos — you turned to this publication.

But now you’re ending this relationship because of me? One little sliver of right-slanted philosophy in a sea of blue has caused you to turn your back on these daily pages?

I'm sorry, but that reeks of cowardice.

The Day shouldn't be criticized for adding a new perspective; they should be cheered. Now, there's a chance you just don't like me — and that line seemingly gets longer every day. In a letter to the editor one reader suggested she “lost an IQ point or two from just reading” my column. I felt bad about that since I know IQ points are tough to come by. But IQ aside, burying your head in the sand because of an opposite point of view is not the answer.

This political tunnel vision is a major factor in the polarization and hateful partisanship this country is currently suffering through. Isn't the idea to seek out, listen and absorb every potential idea and then make the decision for ourselves? Isn't that how people grow, how great ideas are conceived? There is that old saying: For an eagle to fly straight, she needs a left and a right wing. Without both, she just flies in circles.

And my admonition goes for people on the right as well, because I know they too have threatened to cancel because The Day on its opinion pages is often not kind to our president, despite his leading a strong economy and slashing our taxes.

As a conservative, I disagree with almost every core issue in most liberal platforms. Yet, if I hear CNN’s Anderson Cooper or Don Lemon take a pro-left stance on something, I’m not running around my house diving for the remote to change the channel. I’m not canceling my cable contract because MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow says something ugly about President Trump (meaning every night). And I'm not smashing my radio with my 34-inch Louisville Slugger when I hear the screeching lunacy of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and her demonstrative declaration that the planet is on life support and we only have 12 more years to live.

I absorb what’s said, process it, and make my own decision. I have no fear of being indoctrinated into a world I wholeheartedly disagree with because someone on TV or the radio or in the newspaper shared a different idea. I'm not afraid of the opposition.

I do, at times, find myself with a growing sense of confusion and even borderline rage when liberals choose hypocrisy over common sense. When this happens, I want to find the nearest cement wall and tests its thickness with my forehead. I’m often astonished by liberal opinions on immigration, or tax increases, or even the new wave of ultra-left Democrats who champion socialism.

The left’s positions on the death penalty and abortion, for example, leave me speechless. A violent murderer is championed with pleas for mercy, but an unborn baby is somehow a nuisance and thus disposable? This lack of logic is insanity to me. Even though I disagree with it — with every atom of my being — I will defend your right to say it and won’t abandon a news source for presenting it.

Instead of cancelling subscriptions, effectively censoring speech, maybe we should listen and consider where the other side is coming from. Maybe the reason you are so afraid to read my words is because deep down you don't really believe in your own.

Are you afraid I’m right?

Lee Elci is the morning host for 94.9 News Now radio, a station that provides "Stimulating Talk" with a conservative bent.

 

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