Dear Tell All: Thank you for your response to Ears Ringing, the anti-Scott Walker protester who felt ashamed when his side tried to drown out speeches by Sarah Palin and other speakers at the recent tea party rally ("Drowning Out Sarah Palin," 5/6/2011). I was there myself, on the tea party side, and was discouraged to hear a group of Americans try to silence another group of Americans so perniciously. I feel similarly discouraged whenever my own friends do the same thing to Democrats.
We all live in the same country, and we should let both sides speak their piece - and even listen to our ideological opponents. We gain nothing by shouting past each other.
Dear Tell All: After reading your excellent advice to Ears Ringing, I now need to know: What is the protocol for apologizing to 6,500 people?
I was one of the offending (and offensive) protesters shouting down the tea party speakers on April 16. I registered some discomfort while doing it, but my righteous indignation overcame my civility. I (and the rest of the crowd) was so loud and obnoxious (that was the goal) that three lovely young women standing near me left the crowd in search of a spot from which they could hear their speakers (mission accomplished).
What was I thinking? They had every right to hear the speakers and express their viewpoints (misguided though they may be). The very outrage that led me to the rally was born of Scott Walker's unilateral decision making and refusal to - you guessed it - hear us. And that isn't because the tea partiers are drowning us out.
So, I am sorry and ashamed and would like to apologize. To 6,500 people. Any suggestions?
Dear Sore Throat: By sending this letter to a newspaper, you have already apologized, and I will take the responsibility of forgiving you on behalf of the 6,500.
Hey, maybe you and One Nation should get together for tea - or some other, more neutral beverage. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.