My article "Have We Lost Our Civility in Politics," printed on Nov. 18, has drawn some criticism in the form of Letters to the Editor penned by Bob Furnad and Maurice Carter.
Political controversy is healthy for our country and helps to preserve our freedom. I completely support civil and honest discourse.
The nature of the criticism in these letters actually is asking for response.
I noted in my column that base and brutish behavior by members of an opposing position is a good indication that they lack logical or intelligent support of their position. Additionally, when all else fails, they attack outside the subject issue.
This is demonstrated by the accusation that I am not a resident of Newton County. If they had checked, they would have discovered that indeed my residence is in Newton County where I pay taxes and participate in the community.
What bearing has this on my objection to the loss of civility in the practice of supporting our political beliefs?
As to the threats of violence and retribution to the three commissioners and the attempt to have one discharged from his employment, I do abhor this behavior and implore our citizens to support each other's right to participate without threat. Having witnessed the dramatic tone of voice, posture and direction of delivery by Mr. Carter on the comparison to Moammar Khadafy during his comments at the Tuesday night meeting, I am certain the intent was not lost on Mr. Fleming. I have lived among people in other countries where voicing an opposing opinion or any opinion at all would guarantee a beating, imprisonment or death. I assure you that no American wants that to infiltrate our politics.
I have been chided for not being aware of the practice in British Parliament of the members sounding out their opposition during session. I have lived in England and am fully aware of that practice and have no desire to live under that socialistic and floundering state of government. May I remind you that these practices originated during the time in England when only landed gentry were permitted the vote and to this day members of Parliament carry some aristocratic privileges? The practice of interrupting a speaker who has the floor and calling out opposition from the floor is not tradition in the legislative bodies of our country. These sessions have followed the tradition of order and the rule of law.
I do not wish to emulate foreign countries.
It would prove interesting to connect the dots in the relationships of the gentlemen who submitted the letters.
Mr. Furnad is married to Barbara Morgan the campaign manager and sister-in-law of County Chairman Kathy Morgan. Mr. Carter is married to Kim Carter, the mayor of Covington and close ally of Kathy Morgan, the chairman.
Perhaps, there is more to the background of the opposition than an objection to the process?
The notion that Mort Ewing, J.C. Henderson and Tim Fleming perpetrated a political ploy that Tuesday night without any opportunity for the public to be heard is not correct. This issue has been a matter of discussion for months and the subject of many newspaper articles. I wrote two columns over the previous month in this newspaper on this issue and attended two previous commission meetings where there was the opportunity for public comment.
This organizational change in the operation of the county provides more representation and easier access for the citizens of Newton County, including me.
William Perugino is active in local and regional politics and can be reached at email@example.com.