In the course of writing over the last four years, I've collected a fair amount of hate mail. Some of it is pretty scary, some of it pretty funny, but I suppose it goes with the territory of writing in a public forum under my real name. I've always believed, however, that a person must not hide behind anonymity if you want to have any real impact to your words.
The internet is good for people that want to scream with anonymity. They say things online they would never say to your face. I’m just the opposite. I say things to your face I would never put in writing. Suffice to say, my podcasts can get pretty wild, and often I go on a tear about just how stupid people are, or how rude people can be.
But hey, that’s entertainment. Problem is with some of these letters, tweets and emails I get, that are almost always anonymous. They just come off as another internet crank that I apparently wound up.
In order to answer my critics in a more lighthearted manner, I'm issuing the following clarifications:
1. I do not regularly watch Beck, listen to Limbaugh, or have lunch with Adolf Hitler
Although I can't deny I have never heard of the most famous conservative talking heads, I certainly don't watch or listen to them on a regular basis. Have I seen some of their work? Absolutely. Yet, I can honestly say I have yet to sit through a full show of any of them, and watch even less now that I'm writing almost full time and doing a daily internet radio show. The reason for this is twofold; I don't want to risk accidentally plagiarizing or parroting anything they say, and secondly, I find them both a little bit annoying. A little bit.
Of course, I listen to KFYI 550 daily, especially Jim Sharpe and Mike Broomhead. I have to say though, I find Keith Olbermann REALLY annoying
2. I am not a racist, bigot or homophobe
As the old joke goes, I have many gay friends. An traditional conservative libertarian, I really don't care who you are sleeping with, whether you blaze up every night and stone yourself to the bejeesus, or what color you are or how you paint your hair.
And I really hate Nazi's; those guys are the worst. Especially the ones in the Oval Office.
3. I am not a parrot of FOX news
I watch CNN a lot actually, as well as FOX. Most of my information on my articles comes directly off the wire from Reuters or AP and is double referenced before I repeat it. Although many times I will write articles that take the same opinion that FOX does, I've sided with MSNBC's take on several occasions.
In fact, my home page is MSN.com, because I always have to know What Justin Bieber is up to, and how to better please my mate.
4. My wife and my mother know what I am writing
I get this one a lot- 'Does your mother/wife know you write such hate speech?' Yes, they do, and my mom always calls me and tells me I'm such a wonderful boy. Ahem. Oh, and I'm not married but my longtime partner (yes, she is a woman for you haters out there, not the goat someone once suggested) she reads my work, and for a point of fact, she is a Hilary Clinton loving liberal.
Makes for interesting dinner conversation.
5. You are uneducated/ignorant/stupid etc. etc. etc.
Ok, I actually changed my bio years ago for this one. I have two degrees, one in a dual major and recently reapplied to MENSA just to shut some people up. These are the most annoying letters, since they typically are the ones that are most personally insulting- and often threatening. Nothing I felt the need to report so far, but I’m not holding my breath. Most are general threats like ‘I hope you get cancer’. In this world of Obamacare, that’s a real threat.
I'll be happy to match my brainpan against anyone else in a public debate on the issues at any time. The fact that I don't have an Ivy League education, and just a plain old degree(s) from bread and butter colleges is actually a source of pride to me- I managed to survive the liberal indoctrination with lowering my IQ.
6. You are rich/elitest etc, just trying to protect your money.
I live a rather modest middle class lifestyle on the west side of town. I don't drive a Mercedes, my significant other doesn't wear mink coats, and I don't wear tails all day long. As for my insurance business, I have almost put it aside entirely now, taking new clients in only by referral. Besides, if you think about that argument a little bit, you'll realize it’s pretty stupid, since what the heck is wrong trying to protect your wallet from being depleted by government which spends money like a drunken sailor on stolen credit card. Maybe if a few more of us had a few extra bucks in our pocket, the economy wouldn't be in such a rut.
I put my pants on one leg at a time as well.
7. You promote hate/violence etc.
No, I don't. I have spoken many times against acts of violence, and have said on many occasions the word and rule of law is more important to be followed than ever before, even in times of national crisis. It is our adherence to the rule of law that separates us from the banana republics and dictatorships that cover the world these days.
Also, if you respond to my article but spout something without critical information or backup, or from questionable sources, I'm going to call you on it. If you argue that I'm wrong about guns or free speech by blaming Bush or talking about Katrina, I'm going to not respond as well. Stick to the subject.
Last but not least, the fans that are my critics are just as important, if not more important to me that the letters I get saying how well I speak my arguments. I refuse to attack, insult or get personal with my critics, often not even responding to comments on my numerous blogs and articles. Why?
It reminds me of why I started writing again professionally after a 20 year layoff.
It reminds me of how bad things had gotten.
It reminds me of how badly that good political discourse is needed.
So laugh a little sometimes, dear liberals. Otherwise, you are going to get cancer from the stress.
You can follow Thomas Purcell at libertyneversleeps.com