Wednesday , September 13, 2017 - 12:00 AM
I have been asked this question more than once: “Does it bother you when readers write letters that criticize you?”
No. I get to write what’s on my mind; readers get to do the same thing.
What follows is the latest installment of my twice-per-year readers-respond column, in which I quote from emails I’ve received over the past six months. I can only include a fraction of them, but I’ve tried to make them representative of the positive-versus-negative ratio. I’ll use only the writers’ first names, since I’ve neither asked their permission nor verified their identities.
After my column about Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s resignation, Pam wrote, “Your article on Chaffetz was spot on. It is wonderful to read an article with sanity. So tired of this one-sided Republican state and church influence on our daily lives.”
A June column about my grandsons and the solace they provide from politics and bad news inspired Michael to respond, “I look forward to your (columns) … as they always inform, inspire, make me laugh or bring a tear. Your article yesterday made me smile and then brought a tear or two. Your grandsons Marty and Gibby are very lucky to have a Grandma and Grandpa Porter that love them and adore them!”
Following my June piece about President Trump’s defenders being “the political equivalent of the pooper scoopers along a parade route,” a reader named Ken emailed, “(T)he article … was just more of your prejudiced nonsense. You and the Democrats just can't stop the hateful jargon. … If Hillary had won, the Republicans would not have engaged in the hateful activities.”
A July column in which I chided Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee for lacking the courage to criticize the president’s boorishness, Randy wrote, “Don, your writing is one of the only reasons I keep paying for the print edition of the Standard. Please keep up the good work.”
Another reader, Barbara, wrote to defend me after a letter to the editor encouraged my replacement with a conservative columnist: “I just want to let you know I was really ticked off when I read the letter to editor on July 18. … (I)t was such a typical letter from someone from Utah. I personally love your column. I usually only read your column. When she wrote we need a new columnist who is right-wing conservative, I thought to myself: We have plenty of those. If we want ‘both sides,’ then we need more of your column.”
My Aug. 16 thoughts about Trump’s response to the Charlottesville, Va., march by white racists prompted a lot of email. A sampling:
Donna wrote, “Republican leadership, hear this: I will never vote Republican again even if the other candidate is an idiot! Unless you step up and rescue us from the current president ASAP, you have lost my so-far-lifelong trust.”
Another reader, Kent, offered this opinion: “You don’t like Trump and he will never say anything you can’t screw around and disparage; anyone who reads your columns knows that.”
A reader named Dave wrote, “(T)he thing I can never figure out is whether liberal progressives like yourself are just utterly ignorant or blatant two-face lairs. … I find your politically biased musings not only shameful but embarrassing.”
Dennis, however, was on my side: “I know you'll catch some crap from some Trump supporters, but thankfully many of them can't read or type. And thanks for being a welcome patch of blue in this overly red state.”
An August column about the GOP’s defense of Trump was the subject of Vaughn’s email: “I have just about come to the conclusion that you must favor socialism over individual freedom. You are either a liberal elite or one of the Antifa group that is just springing to life.”
My column asking the rhetorical question “Why does Trump hate the media?” elicited the most responses of any this year.
Reader Al wrote, “I'm Trumpitized and can hardly bear to hear his voice. … Thanks for your columns, I read them all. A drop of sanity in a swamp of BULL S---!”
Tony, who may or may not read my work, emailed, “Read your Wednesday column and just cannot believe people think like you do. Fox News is the only news that tells the truth. … Your column never gets read by me; keep up the good work.”
But Darlene’s missive is one I’ll not soon forget: “You are not funny, clever, smart or even good looking. You … (are) nothing more than a little man, trying to be a big man. But, Don, you will never be 1/8 of a man that President Trump is.”
Email Don at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DonPondorter.
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