Letter: Don’t label people you disagree with

In Tillamook County I have noticed yard signs calling for Governor Brown to be recalled posted by #TIMBER-UNITY and FARMERS “standing UP for WORKING Oregonians”. In the parlance of the day those last two words are a classic dog whistle suggesting anyone who doesn’t agree must be a busy body on welfare. I’m in my 70’s and retired. I spent eight summers as a teen working on a dairy. I carried full 10 gallon milk cans across the corral and over a trough and lifted them into a cooler filled with water morning & night. I loaded hay bales by hand onto a flatbed wagon while a Ferguson tractor drove itself down the field on low throttle all in the southern Utah summer heat. I spent endless hours running tractors and a Massey-Harris 90 combine long before such equipment had cabs, stereos or AC. I put myself through college pumping gas and doing farm work on weekends. I earned and paid into my so-called entitlements – my pension and Social Security and every month I spend most of it on local products and services including too much Tillamook Dairy vanilla bean ice cream. I find disheartening the inference that our neighbors who care about pesticide spraying of drinking water sources are just lazy do gooders. I object to any suggestion that people who want to protect the last remaining 10% of old growth forest that shelters the clean water required by our valuable cold water fisheries and the industries they support aren’t “WORKING Oregonians”. I find it particularly ironic farmers are in this when they more than anyone else know first hand climate change is the result of human generated excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Yes this is mostly about failed HB2020 that would have introduced a mild statewide cap and trade system to reduce carbon emissions. If the strongest argument you’ve got against that and the best strategy you can come up with to garner sympathy for your cause is to label the people you disagree with using unfair insinuations you haven’t got much except a desire to further divide us into warring tribes.
Ted Chu

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