Anonymous writers are bullies and cowards, says resident
Saturday November 2, 2013 | By:Kyle Bradford |
Autumn in Sardinia is wonderfully predictable. The humidity drops, the air cools and the days get shorter. Leaves turn such radiant shades of red and gold that they seem to almost glow, just before dusk. Recently a new, though just as predictable, annual sign of autumn is the anonymous political mailer.
Once again, this year’s political diatribe was sent to the residents of Sardinia just before Election Day (I don’t know if it is sent to each home, or just to the registered voters). There is neither a return address nor name that can be attributed to an author of the full-page, scathing, single-spaced text. Is the information true? Untrue? Enlightening or slanderous? Since an individual – or group – has not accepted responsibility for the mailer, the “information” provided cannot be verified with its creator. Are we being advised by a benevolent, independent onlooker? Probably not, considering the amount of contempt and conjecture. The letter’s content also gives us such remarkable foresight that the writer(s) must be clairvoyant. The “evidence” the author feeds us portends certain doom, if the “bad guys” are elected.
I have given the mysterious letter some thought, however, not the kind of attention the author was aiming for. One concern is about the indivdiual(s) who prepared it. The content is so angry and full of accusatory statements that I have to wonder more about its creator, instead of the very people they obviously seek to attack. If you are confident in your statements, then why are you afraid to have your name attached to such vitriol? Perhaps you recognize such nonsense could affect your reputation?
Sending out such a targeted letter while maintaining anonymity is indicative of arrogance, cowardice and bullying. Yes, bullying. Just like the middle school students do: keep those rumors going, even those minutely based on fact. The level to which Sardinia politics has devolved is disheartening. (Which may partially explain why so few are willing to run for election). Sadly, some of the readers will accept the letter as fact and allow it to influence their decision. I hope not many will consider the compilation of soothsaying, naysaying and finger-pointing as valid decision-making tools.
I understand that our democracy allows us such freedoms as the right to choose our religion, a right to bear arms (at least for the time being), and of course, the right to free speech. If you cannot take responsibility for the content of your letter, however, then how can it even be taken seriously?
Abraham Lincoln said, “Let the people be aware of the facts, and the country will be calm.” Facts, however, are not the same as opinion and predictions, and should not be confused, as such. Exercise your right to free speech, but speak wisely, as it reflects your character. At the very least, the United States Post Office will benefit each time you purchase all of those stamps.