Skip to content

Taking a stand for civility in our public dialogue

January 25, 2011

Our friend Tim Eyman, not pictured above, forwarded one of his frequent blast emails to all legislators the other day. The email, written by one of Eyman’s supporters, said the following:

“I am writing to inform you of a great injustice, the kind that rebellions are made of. If the Washington state legislature does not reign in the Demoncrats they can expect a rebellion and quite frankly they deserve one. The people have approved I-1053 four times now. When are you guys going to get the message that we don’t want you to steel anymore of our money? When you get a group of unscrupulous people together you can not rely on a simple majority, that is why we the people require accountability and a 2/3rds vote. We know you are not to be trusted and we hope that there might be someone in government who understands that “Just Governments derive their Just powers FROM THE GOVERNED!” Therefor I don’t ask I DEMAND that you not vote to GUT I-1053 and that the transportation commission not be granted government endorsement to rape the people of Washington state yet again. These traitors should be tried for Grand theft they are certainly guilty. But if our Government will not try them, a just and righteous God WILL!

Long Live the Republic.”

I took the opportunity to hit “reply all” and sent the following email response.

“Dear Mr. Eyman:

In response, I forward a note to you from Thomas Paine, who weeps at your soulless rhetoric searching in vain for any sense of higher purpose or resolve, and who sends the following message from his grave:

“Dear Sir, Mr. Eyman: I am forced through the ages of my own demise to speak out and stand in opposition to your shallow, painful destruction of the dignified discourse of a free and noble society that I helped to wean.

Why do you insult the moral integrity of our nation’s Founders—and the thousands of citizen farmers who collected arms against true tyranny and called themselves citizen soldiers for a time– by denigrating the level of discourse at every turn? Why do you seek to bring low the compass of our nation’s dialogue in such a manner as to attack the very motives, integrity, values and honor of those with whom you disagree but who in return choose not to speak ill of your own worth? Is it not the dignified history of democracy that we should hold high the noble title of “citizen” not as beneath and incapable of democratic discourse but joined at the hip with her?

Treason? Rape the people of the State of Washington?

Indeed there is dark, evil tyranny in the world even in your time. But I do not stretch to say that it does not reside in your peaceful kitchens.

Reflect deeply upon the words you use not because you do not have the right, you certainly do. Do so because you have strayed so far from any meaningful awareness of the profound spiritual, emotional and physical meaning of the words that you so casually and spitefully caste off from your pen.

You do not reflect upon the emptiness of such words and rhetoric. But by doing so you empty your own soul and insult the dignified values of those who gave you your very right to shout in the town square.

Unlike those of my time, you enjoy every right to speak out, but you have lost sight of the responsibility of the most honorable title of all: Citizen.

Found guilty by G-d? A just and righteous G-d surely loves the beauty, holiness, tenderness, warmth and honor of parents inspiring our children to believe that we can be so much more than what we’ve become. Surely, given other priorities, it is unlikely that the Holy Precious and Loving Master of the World has taken a firm position on the statutory taxing authority of the Washington State Transportation Commission.

May you find blessings and words that lift up our souls.”

With kind personal regards,

Thomas Paine.”

Your partner in service,

Reuven.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Deb Eddy permalink
    January 25, 2011 9:43 am

    To say nothing of spelling or grammar.

  2. Charlie Smith permalink
    January 25, 2011 9:54 am

    Thanks, Deb. You beat me to it: If one wants to accuse someone of theft, it is a good idea to spell “steal” correctly. But that would require actually working to do something correctly, and neither Eyman nor his followers show much inclination for that.

  3. Geoff permalink
    January 25, 2011 10:00 am

    One year (I think it was 2003), Eyman was particularly vociferous in exhorting his (bcc’d) “thousands of followers” to “hit reply all” and tell the legislature and governor to (stop raising taxes or some such thing).

    As I received the email messages from his followers, I harvested the addresses to re-create his email list. I later sent them all a lookalike email with their names in the “to” field and the legislature in the “bcc” field exhorting them to tell Tim Eyman to get a real job and stop begging for money.

    The (mostly) dimwitted followers could not understand how they got on the email list. Many of them did hit reply-all and asked how it happened. Much confusion ensued and Tim magically stopped asking his followers to “hit reply all”.

    One of them filed an ethics complaint against me. It was dismissed because I had done all the harvesting myself. Apparently, if I had asked my assistant to do it, I would have violated some obscure ethics rule.

  4. GreenwoodDon permalink
    January 25, 2011 2:12 pm

    Humorous at best Reuven.

    Ungodly spelling and sensationalism aside (this coming from a guy that used the word “fractionating” in my last comment post ;) ) , people have every right to be fired up about the debauching of voter-led initiatives in this state by legislators.

    What you shouldn’t ignore or make light of, is the utter desperation and futility so many citizens are feeling when it comes to their government.Especially on a Federal level (those lovely Congressional approval ratings are always a good indicator.)

    Again, I know there was a great deal of humor going on in your response, but having Thomas Paine “speak for you”? Okaaaaaaaay.

    I’m not so sure he was the forefather to invoke for your cause:

    “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” -Thomas Paine

    -Best

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,229 other followers

%d bloggers like this: