Letters to the Editor

Civil discourse vs. cranky discourse | Federal Way letters

This is in response to Bob Roegner’s March 16 article, “When did civil discourse take a wrong turn?” The headline and the second paragraph are misleading because the point of his article has nothing to do with what he terms “civil” vs. “cranky” discourse.

His true concern has to do with anyone who disagrees with his opinions, for instance concerning tax rates for someone earning $250,000 a year or more, or concerning teachers salaries.

He then charges these people with being cranky and uncivil in their discourse. I get it. If you happen to disagree with Bob Roegner on a contentious topic, then you’re being uncivil. Apparently, he cannot tolerate dissent from his point of view.

Let me ask you something, Mr. Roegner: Do you have any limit at all regarding the tax rate that should apply to high-income earners? Where would you stop? 50 percent of gross income? 80 percent? 90 percent?

I assume you must have a number in mind, and I’ll bet there’s someone out there who will disagree and come up with a higher number still. So, if you disagree with him, are we then free to charge you with uncivil and cranky discourse? I’m just trying to see if you’re consistent here.

What about the income of teachers? You state that $50,000 a year isn’t enough. So where would you stop? $60,000? $100,000?

Again, I assume you must have some number in mind, and I’ll bet you can find a teacher or two who will lobby for a higher figure. If you defend your position, then by your own logic you will have crossed the line into uncivil territory.

Or maybe for you, the sky’s the limit regarding tax rates and teacher’s salaries. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for your “civility.”

These are important issues that deserve careful consideration and open debate. Mr. Roegner’s attempt to silence one side of the debate by accusing his opponents of being heartless, illogical and mean-spirited amounts to a true example of uncivil, cranky discourse.

Leif Matson, Auburn

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