Respect the views of others

Over the past couple of weeks, the two of us have had letters to the editor published in The Northerner.

We took opposite views concerning the Cindy Sheehan protest issue. Both of us are military veterans and have very strong, differing opinions concerning a number of political issues.

In spite of that, we still have a great respect for the opinions of the other.

We may not agree with each other about many things but we would still fight to the death to protect the right to for each one to express those opinions.

The day Jeff’s letter was published he told Eric about the letter and fully expected Eric to write a rebuttal letter. The following week when Eric’s letter was published, the two of us sat together at a meeting we attended and joked with each other about the letter. Neither of us was upset by what the other wrote. There is not now nor has there ever been any animosity between us concerning our political views. We agree to disagree and we respect that. We do not take it personally.

However, that does not seem to be the case around campus. Several people approached Jeff and referred to Eric as a traitor for his views on the Sheehan issue. These same individuals wanted to know what Jeff was going to do to get back at Eric for his “treasonous” views.

The answer is quite simple. Jeff is going to do nothing to retaliate against Eric for his political views. Jeff and Eric are friends. We respect each other even though we disagree on most political issues.

The situation we have described here has become all too common in American politics. People who disagree often attack each other verbally and sometimes physically. This comes from both ends of the political spectrum.

It is not just liberals and it is not just conservatives. Both sides frequently do this. We do not believe this is what our Founding Fathers envisioned for this country.

We believe that each of us has the right to express our opinions without fear of personal attacks from those who do not agree with us.

Everyone should be able to do that.

We listen to each others views and respect what the other person has to say even if we completely disagree with it. We urge everyone who reads this to do the same.

Listen to each other and respect everyone’s right to express their opinion even if you don’t like it.

After all, isn’t that what America is supposed to be about?

Jeff Foster

Junior majoring in History and Secondary Education in Social Studies

Eric Rummel

Senior History Major