Richard Boersma: Accept others' rights

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I read Ron Lewis' brief but very caustic boiling-over in Wednesday's Steamboat Today, and wondered what Nina Rogers' letter had said that provoked such hostility. So I backtracked to Sunday's Pilot to read the offending letter.

Hmmmm. It seems Rogers' call for education and involvement in our political process, which also encouraged support for her presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich, was more than Lewis could bear. Sometimes it is hard for us to accept that others hold different viewpoints on things, especially when our minds have closed on the subject and opposing input feels annoying. But good manners, good judgment and good citizenship all call for tolerance of others' rights to speak proactively for what they value -- particularly in the political arena that shapes our nation's future.

I don't know Rogers, but her appeal for all of us to "educate ourselves, visit candidate Web sites, find out what you can, and don't depend on the media to tell you what's really happening" is hard to fault. Adding, "Once you decide on a candidate, register to vote," is equally unassailable. The parts of her letter intended to acquaint the reader with Kucinich's platform may not have universal appeal, but certainly don't deserve derision and personal attack.

Rogers' primary message of becoming informed and involved needs to be heard and respected by all of us, regardless of our political views or stage of calcification. It does not deserve the hostile slap Lewis delivered by demeaning the author and lumping her with his further bias against the residents of Boulder. Her message is not "balderdash." Lewis, it is "step up, develop your informed opinion, then vote." Hear, hear!

Richard Boersma

Steamboat Springs

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