Letter to the Editor | Et tu The Pitt News?

By Tom Davis, Clinical assistant professor of business administration

What struck me most about last week’s editorial, “Children are harmed most in right-wing culture crusades,” was not the message itself, which may or may not have merit, but the insults, name- calling and stereotyping that it stooped to in attempting to make its point. As any consumer of mainstream media — on the left or the right — knows, this type of ad hominem attack writ large is an unfortunate and increasing byproduct of the devolving discourse among fellow citizens in this state and country. Instead, allow me to offer a reminder that the object of the editorial’s disdain, people variously disparaged as “right wingers,” “conservative parents,” “Republican Party elites,” “anti-truth parents” and “problematic parents” are also our neighbors, fellow Pennsylvanians and Americans. Whether we do or don’t agree with each other’s point of view on any range of subjects, our ability to maintain a civil discourse about the issues themselves — not about each other as people — is what sets us apart, particularly as members of an academic community which values inclusion, critical thinking and problem solving. In the absence of that kind of objectivity, editorials that take a tone like this are doing no more than pandering to their base — whoever that is — and adding to the decline. Stepping back, it would not have surprised me to find the usual suspects in the mainstream media plumbing these depths of insults, name-calling and stereotyping, but I certainly expect better here. Et tu The Pitt News?