Opponents seek to silence Sawchuk
The recent series of attacks on Joe Sawchuk regarding his letters to the Citizen and his various opinions regarding society, wages and the current state of politics, reveal a pettiness and spite that is both distressing and ominous. While I do not agree with everything Mr. Sawchuk says, especially concerning minimum wage, I do not think that he should be silent, as some have suggested, or that criticism against him should be dominated by name calling.
He has been repeatedly called a variety of odious names: “constant propagandist”, “arch conservative”, a “ranter” (a term it seems some use to describe anyone who disagrees with them) a man of “howling diatribes” and he has been urged, via the wisdom of that great western philosophic figure of the 20th century, Ann Landers, to “keep his mouth shut.”
David Lowther in his Dec. 21 letter entitled “Just another Conservative hypocrisy” seems more intent than most on attacking Mr. Sawchuk. Mr. Lowther would be well advised to heed his mother’s advice: “If you can’t say something good say nothing.” Certainly, he does not suffer from a lack of vicious ad hominem name calling and invective against either Mr. Sawchuk or any one else who holds a political opinion other than his own. In his Dec. 21 letter, and in many others, he has made clear his vitriolic hatred of conservatives, traditional beliefs and opinions other than his own. We get it. Now might be a good time to construct better arguments with less name calling.
As far as his comments on Mr. Sawchuk’s defence of NDP figures is concerned, Mr. Sawchuk has the right to wax eloquently on any political figure or party he wishes to, in any manner he wishes to, and to contradict himself if he wishes to. That’s his democratic right in a society that purportedly believes in free expression, one of our guaranteed Charter rights, by the way.
Although Dara Quast begins her recent letter entitled “The real effects of raising the minimum wage” by insulting Mr. Sawchuk, calling him a “minimum wage ranter” she at least has the tact in paragraph five to state that she doesn’t wish to be “over critical.” That was probably the best part of the letter. She has her right to speak on the benefits of a legislated minimum wage and he has his right to speak against it. It is what democracy is all about.
I am sure both Lowther and Quast are confident that they can counter Mr. Sawchuk, and if so they should stick to cogent arguments rather than insults. Lowther has failed in this regard. At least Quast tried. In the end it is the editorial staff of the Citizen who decide which letters end up in the print or e-edition of their paper. They have the final say, and have thus far been fair enough to present both points of view on many issues. Let’s hope they don’t succumb to the mob asking to have Mr. Sawchuk shut up.