Listening to my wife: Change in no anonymous blog responses
A few days ago, I explained in an e-newsletter that I would not post blog responses where the author does not give a name, but puts in “anonymous”. My wife, Denise, saw that statement and expressed concern that people might have good reason to withhold their name. She talked about the cost that might be suffered by those who have worthwhile input, but expressing it could result in devastating consequences; among those might be the destruction of or boycotting of their business, loss of a job, physical or verbal attack. The possibilities seem almost endless.
I explained that my thinking is that the actions that threaten the very survival of America as a place of freedom and opportunity -like no other county in the world- are winning the day. In the face of this onslaught of destruction, it seems to me people who, with justification, oppose this course to the demise of America must stand up and take action. That action is to stop what I am convinced is an attempt to destroy the very foundation on which this nation, despite missteps and outright sin, became a place of unequaled freedom and opportunity.
For me, being effective in our standing up requires being present in the battle. Remaining anonymous allows room for us to be discounted, by those who would destroy our way of life, as unwilling to seriously pursue the course we claim to believe is necessary.
Denise’s response to my thinking as reflected in the previous paragraph was to suggest that I consider my circumstance. That circumstance is: I am retired; don’t have a business that could be boycotted, attacked, or burned down; have lived longer than I ever expected to live. The financial piece of my circumstance is based on the federal government honoring its commitment to continue military retired pay and Social Security. If those who are seeking to tear down the American system win the day, my circumstance could change drastically. That’s a point for another time.
The rest of my circumstance is that in today’s America, I receive verbal attacks and do not doubt the possibility of physical harm because of what I write and say. After a recent opinion piece of mine that was published in Up & Coming Weekly and the Fayetteville Observer, a reader called me and jokingly said, while making a valid point, that he had talked with a mob group and they agreed to cancel the “hit” (murder) that had been ordered on me. Another reader who shares my views suggested that I might want to hire security. I can understand why readers call, email, or talk with me in person and express total agreement with much of what I write, but make it crystal clear that I am not to connect them to their comments in anything I write or say. Speaking counter to what is “politically correct” or consistent with “Black thought” is dangerous not only to one’s financial well-being, but also to physical well-being.
The bottom line is that I am reversing my position on not posting anonymous responses to blog posts on my website. However, my position on “obviously fictitious names” remains. On other websites, I see names like Skeeter, Click95, etc. Just put in “Anonymous”. Even if these are nicknames, they trivialize what is intended to be a serious discussion. This change also applies to articles. The other conditions regarding responses still apply. Although I firmly believe putting one’s name on a response carries far more weight in the struggle for productive dialogue than one marked anonymous, I accept that there are those who need a voice, but the cost of being identified is more than they can afford to pay.
The anonymous response that I initially declined is now #4 on the blog post at http://www.karlmerritt.com/2020/08/19/president-trump-and-the-post-office-the-real-story/.