Words To Think About

July 3, 2008

Voices: Words to think about

July 02, 2008 10:00 pm

— Jealousy, envy, hypocrisy — just a few words Ron Hutchison should have perhaps thought about before his ad hominem attack (Globe, June 22) on George Will’s column (Globe, June 16). To take issue with Will’s column would have been one thing, but to use op-ed space to unleash such vitriol and irrelevant analogies is quite another.
Hutchison writes that Will and those like him are no longer relevant in these struggling times. (Trotting out the single mom was a nice touch. As long as you don’t have to defend the social devolution since the mid-’60s that has created so many in the first place.) I counter that if as a society we valued “we” more than “me,” aspired to emulate rather than envy intellect, and held tradition and decorum with respect instead of revulsion, we all might be a bit better off. And I dare say the ’30s and ’40s were far more struggling and required much more sacrifice than anything we endure today.
Using the phrase “we commoners” implies you are one. The words suggest quite the opposite. The railing against Will, Buckley Jr. and others like them is more the mantra of the new liberal class. A class that adheres to a theology that preaches “diversity and tolerance” but practices “toe our line or else.”
From my younger days sitting at the kitchen table struggling with the big words in the newspaper and my mother’s “sound it out, look it up,” I have always admired those who embraced all of the English language, not just its edges. Sure, it’s easier to serve up “meat and potatoes” and dumb it down, but I was raised that America was never about the “easy.” We were a country that overcame the difficult and relished a challenge.
And for the record, Will was merely stating, “if you can do instant replay and not ruin the tradition of the game, then so be it.” As for which column is worthy of print? One author is syndicated nationally, a regular on a weekly telecast, and has won a Pulitzer Prize. Another is a “guest” in a small Midwest daily and peddles a board game. Which one do you suggest the Globe editorial board put on the chopping block?
Geoff Caldwell

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