I write a monthly newspaper column, but I wish it were every week. There's no end to great subjects and interesting things to write about. Which is why I always laugh when columnists take short cuts and do something like this from Rick Martinez, who is often referred to as the "conservative Latino columnist at the N&O. My old editorial teacher, Walter Spearman, called this kind of thing a "round-up." I call it lazy.
There's more . . .
The in-box has been filled with a lot of angry e-mail lately. But among the rage have been some gems. Here are a few, edited for length. I expected an avalanche of negative comments about my decision last week to leave the Republican Party after 34 years. I'm now an unaffiliated voter. I wasn't disappointed, particularly since last week's column was posted on numerous blogs around the country. However, I was surprised by the number of people who wrote to tell me that they, too, had recently left their party because opposition and criticism had replaced ideals and principle. Mary Starling's note spoke for many.
"I, too, became an unaffiliated voter three months ago. I had been a registered Democrat for 41 years and was raised in a very politically active family of Democrats. My reasons for leaving the Democratic Party are many. I am tired of the constant Bush-bashing with no real concern for solutions or principles. One day independent voters may be the most powerful voting block. Then things may change for the better."
I think it's save to assume Little Ricky didn't do a random sampling because I'd bet Republicans leaving their trashy party outnumber disaffected Dems by ten to one.
I'm still getting e-mail toasting me over my Feb. 22 column in which I endorsed an 1805 North Carolina law that outlaws cohabitation. I supported it based primarily on research from Rutgers University that convincingly documents correlations between shacking up and negative societal ramifications. That the act is used selectively, most recently against former sheriff's dispatcher Debora Lynn Hobbs (who is challenging the law's constitutionality), is a tradeoff I can live with. But Jim L. Martin was among the multitudes who said my reasoning is harsh and outdated.
"Debora Lynn Hobbs is better off having lost her job because of a law essentially never enforced or never even heard of by most of us...And two law-abiding 80-year-olds who worked and paid taxes their entire lives, and for whatever reason choose to live together and not marry, will be classified as criminals. Come on Rick -- lighten up!!!"
Come on Rick, lighten up? Come on, Rick, get a brain. And while you're out shopping, be sure to recycle your "Government Sucks" membership card.
The e-mail I received about a March 24 column in which I praised Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield's quest to liberate manliness from the clutches of feminism and political correctness was among the most thought-provoking I've ever received. Few agreed with me. The biggest bone of contention: my view that men must instill a series of manly traits in their sons. Traits like responsibility, strength, commitment, courage, dignity, service, fitness, self-reliance, duty, honor, brevity and respect.
"Are you stating that these are NOT critical traits to instill in our daughters?" wrote biology professor Dr. Sue Carson. "Every single one of these are things that both my husband and I strive for every day and respect each other for. They are also traits we try to instill in our bright, beautiful, feminine daughter, along with empathy. Frankly, I am offended both that you appear not to believe these to be equally important traits in females, and am further appalled that you seem to think that feeling empathy is a weakness in males."
Of course these traits are not exclusive to men. Problem is, thanks to feminism and political correctness, we're in danger of losing the masculine interpretation of these characteristics. That can't be allowed to continue.
We're in danger of losing the masculine interpretation of these characteristics? Holy shit. I've heard plenty of idiotic drivel from Martinez before, but this inane comment truly floors me. As I've said on many occasions, I'm sure glad I'm not having to pay to read this crap.