Sunday, December 13, 2009

An Advent Sunday morning with hate mail

Click on the image to enlarge

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation column runs in the local paper unless there is ample material from local sources to crowd it off the editorial page. If you don’t know, the CTF is a think-tank-cum-lobby group whose focus is taxes we have to pay to keep this country running. More specifically, their goal appears to be a country where individuals are not required to contribute to the general welfare of the country, or at least as little as that individual can get away with.

A few weeks ago, their columnist made the argument that climate change was a hoax being perpetrated on the public, and that no one would be able to get elected if they espoused policies recommended by the prognosticators of climate disaster looming just over the horizon.

I couldn’t leave this unchallenged, and wrote a letter to the editor—a mild missive—in which I suggested that for Harper (and by implication, other Alberta politicians) this might be the literal case but that overall, Canadians are beginning to get the argument that we will either have to begin making changes now, or be forced to make them soon. It might, in fact, be difficult to get elected unless politicians show us a grasp of this problem and are in favour of taking our collective heads out of the sand.

The paper included my address, for some reason, and I got a hand printed, anonymous letter in the mail a few days later. According to its author, I am an idiot espousing a socialist viewpoint and since socialism and communism are the same thing, I am now a communist, as is every NDP politician in this country. He calls me “Comrad (sic) Epp” throughout.

I would challenge him to a debate on the issue of climate change, but I don’t know who he is, and anyway, he would likely dismiss me because “I don’t know what I’m talking about,” and “it’s a sad day when the editor of the paper would print such garbage.”

Well he may be right when he says I don’t know what I’m talking about re: climate change. Everything about climate change is best-guess stuff, but what I’ve learned, I’ve learned from people who can spell “comrade.” It’s unnerving to think that people like my anonymous stone-thrower might be able to get together and elect a government.

Apparently, we've still got work to do.


  1. Hi there, it is interesting to live in a country where someone isn't jailed for an opinion no matter how 'contrary' it is to a public sense of decency and the norm of rational thought. I'd be curious as to the postmark on the envelop, after all, which part of the world reads letters to the editor in the local paper? ... Perhaps someone from a nearby town?

  2. The postmark indicated that it was a person who uses the same post office I do. I've experienced before the peculiarities of people who vent their wrath anonymously or in a vitriolic email. We live in a culture that has never learned the art of open dialogue as a means to solving problems, and so its only with a modicum of courage that we steel ourselves to make our views public. It's a mentality reinforced by the way we fight wars, with projectile weapons that allow one to kill people anonymously from airplanes and missile launchers. A coward's world. Thanks for your comments, Jim.