Letter: Opinion page lacks respectful approach

To the editor:

As a Franklin College graduate living in Johnson County, I regularly read the college publications and the articles and editorials in the Daily Journal.

Because of my aversion to conflict, I have resisted the desire to respond to the overtly liberal writings of David Carlson and John Krull on the Opinion page, but Carlson’s May 23 column (“Trump continues to learn from a master”) penned as a letter to Mr. Putin served as the proverbial last straw, and I feel compelled to speak out.

One of the primary purposes of a liberal arts education is to help students learn critical thinking — to explore alternative opinions and philosophies and to base conclusions and actions on substantiated fact rather than emotional and often unfounded accusations (no matter how many times those accusations are repeated).

Students also should learn how to interact with others respectfully even if their opinions and/or lifestyles differ from their own. And may I suggest that such respect and tolerance might even extend to those who see some value in considering traditional conservative thinking and its role in making the United States the strongest country in the world.

Unfortunately, Carlson’s column does not exemplify respectful and fact-based writing. Although no evidence has been found that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to undermine the election process, nor has there been evidence that Russia’s actions changed the election result, Carlson states that Mr. Putin “definitely ruined the 2016 election for us with all your dirty tricks to get your buddy elected.”

Would it not have been more appropriate and prudent for Carlson to delay his proclamation of guilt until the conclusion of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation of the facts?

Although I admit that I am often unhappy with President Trump’s “off the cuff” rhetoric, he is the president of the United States and should be referred to respectfully.

But Carlson refers to our president as “Donald.” President Trump’s unpolished remarks concern me less than Carlson’s more measured and premeditated statements that serve to promote his liberal bias.

Of course, Carlson and Krull have a right to express their opinions, but as the influencers of young minds, I would like to see evidence that their understanding of the purpose of a liberal arts education is to liberate the mind, not to promote the liberal agenda exclusively.

How refreshing and encouraging it would be to hear a conservative viewpoint from Franklin College occasionally so students might be encouraged to actively consider the pros and cons of various viewpoints.

It saddens me to feel that I can no longer in good conscience support or recommend my beloved alma mater to parents seeking the development of independent fact-based critical thinking for their children.

Marge Pauszek