How NOT to be Inclusive

Whidbey News Times

published 8/13/18 by editor Kevin Graves

Editorial: Attaching labels is divisive behavior we shouldn’t tolerate

Island County Commissioner Rick Hannold says he doesn’t like using labels

But he sure didn’t show it when he criticized those who don’t exactly share his mindset.

During a recent work session, Hannold expressed impatience over the county Planning Commission — which itself has some serious challenges.

Hannold, in response to Commissioner Jill Johnson’s suggestion that a distinction be made between “general affordable workforce housing” and “subsidized housing,” lashed back.

“We have to put a label on everything, on everybody, to make it special,” he said. “I know, because the libs love labels.”

So now we have it. The national dialogue that has degraded into name-calling and labels is seeping into the most local branches of government.

And it’s not cool. Not cool at all.

Once a county commissioner is elected, regardless of party, they work for their entire constituency.

Granted, they were elected because people presumably like their philosophy and approach, but a measure of respect for their entire constituency is expected.

If Hannold doesn’t like part of the electorate he was elected to represent, he should flat out say it. If he was having a weak moment on a bad day, he should issue a meaningful apology.

As they often say, it all starts at the top, and in this case, it’s the presidency. Trump’s inclination to attack and debase those who disagree with or criticize him is a form of high-level bullying, plain and simple.

Name-calling and attaching labels to debase and denigrate others is low-brow behavior we shouldn’t accept. It creates manufactured divisions in the population and continues to erode the foundation of civility in this country.


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