Letters to the Editor: Thursday, November 4, 2004

Guest Columnist and Guest Columnist

Screaming doesn’t help to change minds

I understand that today [Tuesday] is Election Day and half of the people in this country are happy because it’s all most over… all the negative ads, the hype, and the tug-of-war polls on the nightly news. The other half of the people are trying to get their last stabs in for their favorite candidate, trying one last time to sway the opinion of undecided independents.

I feel that I can relate to people on both sides of the fence.

While I have my own personal opinions on who should be the next president and who our local elected officials should be, I can also relate to those who will be glad when it’s all over and life returns to normal. Just knowing it was election day, and that things would soon return to normal was enough to put a smile on my face and lift my spirit a bit this morning.

My exceptionally good mood only lasted a few hours though. It was quickly ruined by a person holding a political advertisement sign standing on Main Street in downtown Bowling Green.

Being from a rural area I had never seen anyone in a city holding any sign other than a beggar holding a “Will work for Food” sign. I was so taken back by this person holding this political sign and waving as cars went by that I turned around and went back to take a picture of him.

Wanting to know more I decided to approach him. One of the first things he asked me after we exchanged greetings was if I had voted yet.

Upon telling him that I had, he boldly asked me who I voted for, when I wouldn’t tell him his demeanor changed dramatically. He lowered his voice and got a disgusted look on his face. When I wouldn’t argue politics with him he began to raise his voice, it was at this point that I got a little anxious and quickly walked away.

Several hours later, I came across a similar situation on campus in front of the Union. I kept my distance this time however, and observed a member of a political group yelling at a student, who had taken a moment out of his day to stop and listen to this group on campus.

I can recall similar situations involving preachers and ministers who upon discovering that everyone does not see their point of view, get quite upset, and begin yelling at people who stop and ask a question.

Why don’t more people respect the personal and political views of others?

Do they actually think that yelling at a person in an angry rage is going to change a person’s views on an issue?