I've had many inquiries as to the identity of my hate mailer. And while there are strong suspects, I'm not in the smear business and don't want to throw out any accusations without being absolutely sure. Your guesses are always welcome.
I'm also not in the business of being bullied, which is what this kind of communication really is.
When you write in a public forum, be it a blog or a local newspaper, you are Putting Yourself Out There. Part of the unwritten agreement is that once you have done that, you need to get ready for people to disagree with you and take it in stride. I did and they have. I have a dear friend who disagrees with me routinely, especially if I am ranting or making some of my more controversial statements. BUT, her comments are always polite, well thought out and she is willing to take credit for her position. Sometimes she shows me a side I didn't consider, sometimes I disagree. Those comments, however, are always published and at the end of the day, we're still great friends.
Maybe I was prepared for people to be on the other side of issues seeing as my friend base trends overwhelmingly liberal while I am rock solid conservative. If the subject turns to politics, which I swear I try to avoid, (stop laughing Tim) I find I can be outnumbered six to one, or sometimes seven if Tim thinks I have gone too far.
And that's ok. For where we know we are is the arena of ideas - none of these discussions is, or should be, taken as personal attacks.
My (fairly ramble-y) point is, it is a-ok if you disagree with me. Go ahead and write, email or call me and let me know that you think I'm full of shit. But, and it is a big but, you have to be willing to sign your name.
As opposed to constructive criticism or commentary, an anonymous letter like the one I received is a scare tactic, some adult bullying. You'd better watch what you are saying. We think you are lazy and irresponsible. You are a laughing stock. It was meant to make me unsure of myself, wondering at every turn, is this person the one? And to self-censor for fear of They writing me to let me know how much I suck.
The modern day "Guidance" approach to bullies is to "throw your anger to your feet" and "just walk away." I'm a little more old school than that, and my approach to bullies is to punch them in the nose. (Figuratively, of course.)
So readers, here or in The Circle, feel free to send me commentary, regardless of whether or not we're on the same side. You can do so without fear of attack. Try to bully me, that's different. Just know I'll hit back.