Letter: Respect other viewpoints

I read Mr. Kline’s recent article about the Republican National Convention with great interest. Unfortunately, the tone and content of Kline’s article typifies what has become an increasingly unpleasant and fruitless public discourse regarding politics. Instead of discussing/analyzing the merits of the president’s policy on education, health care, or the war on Islam, Kline descends into the all too easy and common tactics of personal attacks and downright vilification of one’s political opponent.

Kline begins by insinuating that the president is personally responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attack because of gross negligence and that he sent soldiers to die in a war because, essentially, he was confused. Kline also disdainfully refers to speeches to be given by Erika Harold, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Vice President Dick Cheney, though he gives only personal reasons for his dislike of these figures (Does he disagree with the fiscal responsibility/budget cuts from the governor? Does he particularly dislike Cheney’s staid demeanor?)

I do not ask Kline to change his political positions or challenge his right to express those positions. I ask, however, that all members of the University community make a commitment to lively and heated political debate, to intellectual honesty and above all to respect for those with different viewpoints than themselves.

Erik Ruda

freshman in LAS