The Free Press, Mankato, MN

August 17, 2013

Criticism of conservatives lacked civility


---- — Many of us have been waiting for months to see when the word “centrist” would be removed from Tom Maertens byline. I first noticed it with his sarcastic Sunday Aug. 1 My View suggesting the GOP was “...the stupid party”, and calling some GOP voters “yahoos” and “simpletons.”

As a basis for his declaration he cites a quote from 19th Century British philosopher John Stuart Mill: “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives...” If Mill is correct, it would seem to follow that stupid people, yahoos and simpletons who are not conservatives must be liberals, or unaffiliated with any political ideology. If my logic here is flawed, maybe someone who has taught logic, or written a book about logic will tell us why.

The way I see it labeling anyone stupid, a yahoo or simpleton adds nothing constructive to any debate. Having said that, in response I offer a quotation from another famous Brit: “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” (Winston Churchill)

Bob Jentges

North Mankato