My wife told me not to write this column, but I'm doing it anyway.
Here. Hold my beer...
Some folks on the mean streets of Facebook detected hypocrisy in a column I wrote last week, and my wife gave me her usual advice: Don't complain. Don't explain. One of Dale Carnegie's fundamental rules advises much the same: Don't Criticize, Condemn or Complain.
Sometimes it's tough, however, to resist the urge to leap to your own defense. One time I wrote a column about Thanksgiving after your kids grow up and move away. Consumption drops dramatically, but the size of the turkey often remains the same. And a mere two people can hardly put a dent in the lumbering bird, resulting in a mountain of leftovers. (It was not a particularly serious column.)
To which an unkind person on Facebook posted that from the looks of my picture that ran with the column, I could eat the whole turkey myself. (!) Now, was that necessary? Had he not heard every mother's advice about not saying anything at all if you can't say something nice?
If you cut me, do I not bleed?
More recently, a critical Facebooker – apparently writing with his arm in a vise – asked how it was possible for me to be wrong about virtually everything. Every. Single. Thing.
Another unhappy Facebooker called my columns observations “from the shallow end of the pool.” (I'll admit I laughed at that one. Pretty clever.)
“Let it go,” my wife always tells me. “Don't respond.” And as usual, I followed her good advice.
The latest criticism over last week's column is more serious though. So I'm throwing caution to the wind, and not heeding the invariably wise advice of the person who sits across from me at the breakfast table.
I expressed outrage last week at the gang of thugs – immigrants, here illegally - who punched and kicked two New York City police officers two weeks ago. Some were arrested. But then all but one were released without posting cash bond, by New York's nutty court system.
Several readers accused me of decrying that violence, but not the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, breaking windows, roaming the halls, and battling with Capitol Police. Why wasn't I equally opposed to the violence of out-of-control Trump supporters?
But, I was.
(As they say in France, Oh, Contrary!)
Let's look at what I wrote days after the Jan. 6 rioting:
The rioters did “untold damage,” I wrote. “Damage that will last for years.”
“Taking pictures of themselves acting like fools in the presiding officer's chair in the Senate and at Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk, trashing offices, attacking Capitol police, and dishonoring the tens of millions of voters who supported Donald Trump...”
I wrote that the rioters caused “the loss of five lives,” but as it turned out, only one person died at the Capitol that day, a female demonstrator shot in the neck by a Capitol Police officer. Other deaths attributed to the rioting occurred in subsequent days, with less obvious connections to the rioting.
I noted that Trump urged a large crowd to “go peacefully and patriotically” to the Capitol, but “in any gathering of that size (many thousands) there will be some members of the lunatic fringe, prone to violence.” Trump should have stepped in immediately to stop the lunacy that followed, but didn't.
I was wrong that, “Any thought of (Trump) one day returning to the White House, or remaining a power in conservative thought, are likely gone forever.”
Because of the rioting, I wrote, “the notion of asking questions about the conduct of the 2020 presidential election vanished.”
“Nice job, rioting hordes.”
“What a gift to the liberals.”
So, take it back, ill-informed Facebookers. I was as tough on the Jan. 6 rioters as I was on the thugs beating up cops in New York. And I notice that our liberal friends weren't at all tough on the rioters burning federal buildings and tearing up jack in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Kenosha, Washington and other cities throughout the summer of 2020.
I'll take my beer back now.
And go back to following my wife's good advice.
Dave Simpson can be reached at: DaveSimpson145@hotmail.com