Can writers make a point without the sarcasm?

Over the last ten years I have been proud to be part of the community that is Enumclaw. I have found Enumclaw to be a welcoming and community-minded town filled with caring and giving people that are always willing to help a neighbor. Therefore, I find it disappointing that The Enumclaw Courier-Herald does not seem to have similar values as the community when it comes to exercising it’s editorial discretion in the letters it prints.

Over the last several months I am reading more and more cheap shots, derogatory statements and personal attacks in the letters section that have little and arguably no benefit to our community as a whole. I would encourage people to voice their views and concerns on how our community or our nation is being run, however, why would you as a community newspaper permit people to engage in personal attacks and name calling?

How is permitting a writer to refer to the Republicans continually as the ‘Repugnicans’ facilitating healthy discourse on a topic? It’s not. Now, before anyone feels that I am an apologist for the GOP , I equally wouldn’t like you to publish a letter that consistently refers to the Democrats as the ‘Dummycrats’.

Could we please just get back to people bringing important issues to the forefront through our local paper and leave the sarcasm and pettiness out of it.

Now, a response to Mr. Scribner who seems to feel that the Republicans are more concerned with deregulation than the environment or making America a better place for its citizens to live in. In looking at the examples cited in his letter, the facts just do not back up the majority of his statements.

Mr. Scribner, Ronald Reagan entered office in 1981 and left office in 1989. According to the USEPA Air Quality Trends, “between 1980 and 2008, gross domestic product increased 126 percent, vehicle miles traveled increased 91 percent, energy consumption increased 29 percent, and US population grew by 34 percent. During that same time period, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants dropped by 54%.” So despite over a doubling of our economic output as a nation since the beginning of the Reagan era, the U.S. has dramatically improved air quality over that same time period.

With regards to mercury in fish, I quote from the EPA, “ …U.S. mercury emissions have declined by almost 50% since 1990.” This substantial decrease in mercury emissions is commonly attributed to the Clean Air Act amendments (more regulations) passed in 1990 while George H.W. Bush was President. Interestingly, President Bush put even more regulations into effect in 1990 by signing the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. One of its many effects has been an increase in regulations on how every public and private building in America is built and accessed.

What about water quality? Quoting from the Water Quality Trends – EPA National Lakes Assessment 2010 report, “The report finds that nearly 75% of the 800 lakes sampled in the 1970s showed either improvements or no change…” Again, the EPA reports show a trend towards improvement across the nation’s lakes rather than the increase in pollution that you state in your letter.

I know it is convenient to paint Republicans and deregulation as the cause of our nation’s problems, but if we all looked at objective, confirmable facts and build our comments off of those facts, wouldn’t it make for a more productive discussion?

Maybe, just maybe if we didn’t try to assign political blame or credit to either the Democrat or Republican parties we could focus more on the Country and how to fix the nation’s problems together as Americans.

Brad Semke

Enumclaw


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