I had to cringe when I read your response regarding Sen. Mark Miloscia’s comments on his Facebook page that protesters are “un-American” and “un-Christian.” First of all, let me say, the senator set himself up for attack with those comments, so taking shots at him is easy. That is all the more reason why the press should show some restraint in covering the story. It is uncalled for to publish the senator’s phone, and it is juvenile to hybridize his name. Voters need to direct their attention to him as their representative, not as a man who lives in their community and has a family who is subjected to angry messages. The tone of the Mirror’s response ends up trivializing what are serious comments made at a time of great division, fear and anger in this country. We need leaders and a press who remember whom they represent: the public, not the GOP, not the Democrats, not the President, not themselves. We need leaders of courage to stand up for what is right, even if it means going against the party line.
I can understand the public anger, especially coming from an elected representative I believed in. The senator’s comments were offensive and he seems to have forgotten that one of his idols, the late Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, was a protester who joined a blockade in Puget Sound during a 1980s protest concerning bringing nuclear weapons to Bangor. Hunthausen also withheld his taxes as a protest and feared bringing nuclear weapons here would turn Puget Sound into an “Auschwitz.” But if protesters are un-American and un-Christian, what does this say about the beloved archbishop who married, buried and administered the sacraments to thousands? What does it say about the quiet, unassuming man — and I personally remember him well — who stood up against the Catholic hierarchy over and over again, even though it meant he would be harshly chastised and censured by Rome?
If we take anything from this incident with the senator, it is to remember that elected leadership can be challenging and sometimes painfully unforgiving, and that as voters we have a right to express our dissatisfaction with our government and its leaders. Just criticize the act and the office, not the man who is our neighbor.
Nancy Bartley, Federal Way