A couple of weeks ago, former candidate for U.S. Senate, Maine Governorship, and former Yarmouth Town Councilman Steve Woods wrote, and The Forecaster published, a rather hate-filled and intolerant letter to his imaginary friend explaining the many reasons why the relationship was over. The letter could have been addressed to at least half of what would have been Mr. Woods constituency, had he won or remained in public office. If they read his letter, I suspect many of his imaginary voters to be relieved he did not succeed. Following is my response to Mr. Woods:
Aristotle once declared that, though he loved his friend Plato, his love for the truth was greater still. Steve Woods, in his column of January 4th, Intentionally Unreasonable: Why we can’t be friends, exhibits no love for his friend or the truth. He repeatedly calls his friend names, labels his friend’s opposing beliefs “a destructive tumor,” and “deletes” her from his life.
In so doing, Mr. Woods fuels the fires that have been simmering as a sort of psychic civil war in America. He intentionally alienates any of his remaining friends who might disagree with him, as well as a large percentage of Forecaster readers.
Ironically, Mr. Woods outdoes the blind partisanship and shear foolishness he accuses his friend of in his nearly 900-word screed, employing the word “fool” 18 times in the process. One wonders why his friend would ever want to come around anymore after this.
Now, I’m not an overzealous Trump supporter, but the incongruity of Mr. Woods’ characterization of Trump as “an egotistic, narcissistic, hypocritical, mean-spirited, misogynistic jerk” should not go unnoticed. One can imagine that his former friend might use these same words as she describes her perception of President Obama. But, at least a Trump presidency would be unlikely to result in nuclear capability being hand-delivered to America’s greatest enemy, as Mr. Obama has recently done, along with a cash signing-bonus worth billions of dollars.
Woods goes on to ridicule his friend’s denial of “the undeniable reality of man-made global climate change.” Mr. Woods seems unwilling to allow his friend the liberty to weigh the evidence, presented as it has been beneath a cloud of doubt and obfuscation, fudging of data, e-mail deletions, evolution of terminology from a coming ice age to global warming to the present catch-basin phrase of “climate change.” A true friend might forgive her for being the least bit skeptical in light of all the flip-flopping from the very scientists who wish to convince us that the science is settled.
Mr. Woods seems to be unaware that a simple Internet search yields as much “scientific evidence” that natural sources of CO2 released into the atmosphere are threatening the planet, such as last week’s activity at Momotombo volcano in Nicaragua, as claims that man-made activity is dooming Earth. Worse still, Woods is completely unforgiving of his friend’s desire to require more solid evidence than has been offered to date that outlawing the common light bulb is necessary. With friends like Mr. Woods, who needs to think for themselves?
Mr. Woods goes on to ridicule his friend’s steadfast commitment to the Constitution of the United States, in particular her support for the 2nd Amendment. In this passage, Mr. Woods seems all too eager to ignore the very real statistics revealing a lower percentage of gun-related crime in areas with the highest percentage of legal, law-abiding gun ownership, such as we enjoy here in Maine. It may be lost on Mr. Woods, as it is with the popular media-driven narrative, that in areas like President Obama’s home city of Chicago, with some of the strictest anti-gun laws in the nation, the highest rate of slaughter by guns is sadly a daily reality. Simple correlational logic might lead his friend to deduce that the reasonable gun laws we already have in place work, when obeyed by law-abiding citizens, and enforced by a legal system that isn’t playing politics.
Lastly, Mr. Woods chides his friend’s continued support for Governor LePage. Here, unfortunately for both his readers and his argument, Mr. Woods focuses not on LePage’s policies, many of which have had a positive impact for Maine, but on his personality, as if name-calling by a schoolyard bully supersedes the grades the ruffian might earn in class.
Mr. Woods resorts to the same interminable bullying and name calling toward his former friend he claims to denounce, which betrays a deeper, more intransigent disposition. His letter wasn’t intended for me, as I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Woods. But I wish him the best in his pursuit of future friends, and even greater success in his pursuit of the truth.