Wednesday , March 14, 2018 - 5:00 AM12 comments
Readers send me emails after each column I write – like this one, from September: “You are so leftist and non-neutral it makes me sick, nothing positive or supportive of our great America,” wrote Lee. “Your negative views of our elected president are just an example of your twisted view of our life in America.”
I’ve received plenty of responses like that during the five years I’ve written this column. I offer my opinions, and they offer theirs.
After my column defending NFL players’ right to kneel during the playing of the national anthem, I received this from an anonymous emailer: “You are a communist that hates Donald Trump and this country. You (are) wrong on all the points that you write about.”
Most emails I receive voice disagreement, but not all. After my October column lamenting the lack of legislative action on firearms in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, another unidentified emailer wrote the simple words, “Thank you for your always-wise commentaries. I’m on your side.”
A reader named Tammy agreed: “Thank you for your spot-on article about gun violence in America. … If we can sit back while 20 first graders are killed at school, it doesn’t seem likely that there will be any resolution when adults are shot attending a concert.”
Roberto liked my column about the Utah congressional delegation’s unwillingness to criticize President Trump: “Officials couldn’t care less about you, me and Utah citizens, as long as they continue to feather their nest.”
Regarding a Thanksgiving-week column, in which I listed the things for which I’m thankful, Dave wrote, “Great column, Don! The perfect litany of life's joys. You are definitely at your best when your complaining is at its least.”
Good advice, Dave, even if most weeks I can’t help myself.
A December column about the hypocrisy of Utah public officials who had criticized candidate Trump but now embrace and praise him prompted this email from Brooke: “You are the worst example of a human being in Utah. How dare you insult the president of the United States? You are nothing but a fat, bald, ugly man too stupid to realize what a great man President Trump is. If you don't like the way the USA is, GET OUT!”
Likewise, a reader named Jim wrote, “Mr. Porter, ye without sin cast the first stone. It’s people like you who are dividing our country.”
Publication of my January column urging the state to allow medical marijuana drew responses on both sides of the issue. Reader Doug wrote, “I am not against appropriate medical use of marijuana, but I thought you should know it is not an appropriate treatment for glaucoma as you suggested in your article.”
Fair enough, Doug. Thank you.
Jim, however, wrote this: “I rarely (OK, almost never) agree with you, but on this one I'm with you.”
A column about participating in Ogden’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday celebration moved reader Al to write, “It was a great reminder, for an old guy like me, that events currently happening are just moments in history and they can be endured and dealt with. After all, what choice do we have?”
When I wrote about Rob Porter, the White House aide who resigned after it was revealed he’d physically abused two ex-wives, a reader named Brent wrote, “Maybe you’ve abused your wife and kids. Perhaps you’ve done a host of other despicable things that the public could hold against you forever once the supposed ‘truth’ finally gets out.”
Reader Steve wrote the same day to remind me of JFK’s and Bill Clinton’s moral failings while in office: “Keep up the good writing. Just don’t lose track of a longer history of our country’s moral slide. It didn’t start in November 2016.”
Finally, of the scores and scores of emails I received the past six months, one from a reader named Chet may be the most startling – to me, anyway. Chet’s a self-described Second Amendment supporter, and the column I wrote after the Parkland school massacre in Florida prompted him to email this: “You wrote an article in the Standard-Examiner a few weeks ago that got me so riled up that it seemed useless to pray for ‘kindness towards others’ in my prayers that night.”
Honestly, I don’t know how to respond to something like that. Except, perhaps, to admit a little nervousness for the safety of my family.
EDITOR’S NOTE: After five years as a guest contributor to the Standard-Examiner opinion page, Don Porter has decided this will be his final column.
You can email Don Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DonPondorter.
Sign up for e-mail news updates.