Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dueling letters to the editor on Bernie Sander's article

Deb's note:  here is a letter to the editor in the Caledonian by Barbara Grim about my article on Bernie Sanders, and my answer

Casting stones
To the Editor:
Regarding the January 27, 2011 In My Opinion column in The Caledonian-Record:
Let the verbal games begin, Ms. Bucknam. As a counselor-in-law here in St. Johnsbury it should be a busy day everyday to shorten such a seriously negative and lengthy opinion about a United States Senator. For all the good Sen. Sanders has done in the past and continues to do the opinion, "A Senator From Antipathy" delivers a negative, nit-picking dumpster of detailed verbiage in my opinion.
Just wondering who researched all the detail about Sen. Sanders in this opinion anyway? Could it have been those people who are employed by your St. Johnsbury law firm? Stated in the opinion are verbs such as vilifies (his opponents) slanders (American capitalism) and demeans (American people) referring to Sen. Sanders. Who says that Vermonters are a certain type of people anyway?
The Caledonian-Record shares in the police blotter current public record of those Vermonters who have broken laws and includes often disturbing behavior of Vermonters' information on the front page and throughout the paper regularly. This raises the question of not-so-wonderful Vermonters with not such simple lives; are Vermonters really, as you have stated, collectively generous, educated and tolerant? When listening or viewing media (television and radio) are Vermonters portrayed in the best sense of that word, liberal?

Negative projections on a United States Senator and your personal opinion are interesting to this reader, however we are all hurting from the Tucson tragedy and casting stones as done in your opinionated printing reflects your own malevolent and obdurate nature.
Barbara Grim, USN, Ret.
St. Johnsbury, Vt.

Response to Ms. Grim
To the editor:

Ms.  Barbara Grim wrote a letter to the editor criticizing my article about Bernie Sanders.  First, she claimed the piece was negative.  She was right, because most of the article directly quoted Sen. Sanders.

Then Ms. Grim asked:  “Just wondering who researched all the detail about Sen. Sanders in this opinion anyway? Could it have been those people employed by your St. Johnsbury law firm?”  

I do all of my own research and my own commentaries.  The lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff members in this firm are the ultimate professionals, have diverse political views, and would not perform such tasks even if I asked them to.   We have no litmus test in this office—that would be boring---and I am proud to have a professional staff with diverse backgrounds and views.

If Ms. Grim disagrees with my opinion of Sen. Sanders, that is fine with me—who would want to live in a country where everyone had the same view?     But launching personal attacks on the professionalism of my staff—none of whom she knows--is the kind of  negative discourse that Ms. Grim claims she is opposed to.  

I invite Ms. Grim to meet the fantastic people in my office.  We will even treat her to a cup of coffee and a tour of the premises.   I guarantee she will be agreeably surprised; and she will certainly find no potted plants--except the leafy green ones.

Deborah T. Bucknam  

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