Conservatives Should Take the High Road

I have only been reading and writing for Eagle Rising for a few months. I can’t even remember how I stumbled across it in the first place, but I loved it the moment I first laid my eyes on one of Onan Coca’s articles. Since I have been writing for about 50 years and writing professionally for 9 years as a free lance writer and now an editor, and since I am both a fiscal and social conservative, I sent Onan an unsolicited essay and asked him to respond to it. His answer was positive. He asked me to write some more columns that he could publish. And he published that first unsolicited essay about Miley Cyrus the very next week.

After I submitted a manuscript each week for a few weeks, Onan asked me if I could submit three or four each week. That was about a month and a half ago. From that time to the present, I have been sending him four each week; one of them each week is now identified as a “good news” column. I have received only encouragement from Onan and he even told me that his wife likes my writing. I don’t know about his household, but in my house if Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.

Each week, I have become more and more concerned about something. What I have to say may anger some of you, but that’s all right. I hope you’ll read through to the end of this column before making a judgment.

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What I have become concerned about is the vitriol that I read in the comments following the articles. I believe that the more names we call Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and others, the more we lessen our impact on undecided readers. Today, Saturday, November 23, I browsed through the comments made after several articles. Many of them were very thoughtfully done. The writers refuted the national administration’s statements point by point, which is how the comments should be written.

But there were a significant number of them that were purely name calling, and not very nice name calling. Someone referred to Sebelius as Obama’s whore. Harry Reid was called Harry Slime Ball. The president was referred to as Liar-in-Chief, a Muslim Communist, Bozo the Clown, and a dirt-bag pot-head. Believe me, I have such thoughts myself, but I try to keep them out of the arena of public discourse. I do this not to be Politically Correct, but I simply believe that it is better to attack the liberal policies and ideas rather than to attack them personally with name calling.

We do not “Win Friends and Influence People” by calling each other names. Think back to your own childhood when someone called you a name. Think what that did to you. At first it usually made you angry. Then you resolved to get them back. Then you got caught by your teacher or your parent and punished. We say that “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us,” but we know that’s not true. Most of us have hurt feelings when someone, especially someone we thought a lot of, said something hurtful to or about us.

wordpunchIn the few comments I read, I found two times when violence was mentioned. Oh, I know that neither person meant it as it was stated. Those folks were just venting because they were angry. One person said we should run the White House people through a paper shredder, and the other person said we should nuke them. I don’t suppose that anyone in the DOJ is going to follow up on this stuff, but I surely would hate it if one of our readers or even if Eagle Rising were accused of a “Hate Crime” because of someone using this kind of language.

Lastly, the opposition to the conservative point of view often cannot refute what we say or propose so they fall back on name calling. They call us racists, homophobes, islamaphobes, stupid, clinging to our bibles and guns, etc. When we do the same thing, we play into their trap and the dialogue deteriorates into nothing but childish name calling. “My dad can beat up your dad” may forestall a playground skirmish, but it really solves nothing.

If this angers you and you want to comment with anger and call me names, that’s all right. I’m old and I’m secure in my own skin. But I ask you in my appreciation to Onan Coca and others in the Christian Worldview Communications organization for giving us this forum to say what we want to say and even to vent when that seems appropriate. I ask you in sincerity and affection to think a bit about what I have said in this column.

God bless us. God bless Eagle Rising, and God bless America.


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Harry Livermore

Harry Livermore spent a lifetime teaching English in high schools and junior colleges in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. He now writes for and is editor of the Valdosta Magazine. Harry and his wife Janice live in Valdosta, GA. They are members of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Valdosta. Harry has two sons, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren who live in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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