The Beauty of Anonymous Publication

Another rant from PsychoPoet (psycosupergirl@hotmail.com)
From Vanguard Party 2.1 (October 2002)

“...he says he didn’t expect to become a target of hate mail and death threats...”

This comes from the man who says the “Pledge of Allegiance” is unconstitutional because of a reference to God. That in itself is an issue I’m not touching in this rant. I’m just going to rant on the fact the above statement was made. Stupid Americans. Has no one else noticed that the only safe way to have a radical opinion is anonymously? Especially right now. Especially considering the newfound patriotism of our nation post 9-11 (another subject I’m not going to touch, at least not right now...). Especially considering something that is something of an American institution. Television shows have been canceled because the host expressed a highly controversial opinion that his network disagreed with. Books and articles were turned down for publication because the publications to which they were submitted would not publish the controversial views.

Anonymous publication is one of the last real American freedoms. See, Americans are funny about freedom. We all want our fair share, but we sometimes forget that others are entitled to their fair share as well. We sometimes forget that if we want someone to respect our freedom, we need to respect theirs, even if we don’t share them. Freedom of speech means I’m free to say something and you are free to disagree with me and the world can spin on its axis just as it did before. As far as I see it both the parties sending the hate mail and the man not expecting to recieve it were wrong. Here’s why:

Obviously the people sending hate mail and death threats were wrong, not for expressing their opinion, but for the manner in which they expressed their opinion. It is not right to inflict or threaten to inflict harm on another person. I’m sorry if he offended you, but that does not give you the right to threaten him. Nor does that give him the right to threaten you if he disagrees with you opinion. This is a matter of respect. We don’t need to agree on everything. Hell I have plenty of friends whose views I disagree with. But we should agree to disagree. To get respect you give respect. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Oops, didn’t mean to get biblical there. I simply want to illustrate the simple fact of karma: you get what you give. If you dish out hate to someone, it is going to come full circle and bite you in the ass someday. Think about that they next time you want to pick a fight over something trivial. Even the causes most worth fighting for are not worth the loss of life or threat thereof.
However, to the flip side, he who did not expect hate mail and death threats in this day and age is somewhat ignorant of the way society works. As much as it disgusts me to say, you almost have to expect the worst. Don’t get  me wrong. I believe that human nature is basically good, I just also know that humans are irrational beings who don’t always use their heads, especially when some radical idea threatens the safety of their status-quo. I mean, he was born and raised in this country right? Did he not notice the patterns of violence against those with radical ideas in our past? If you express a radical political stance in this country there are people that don’t understand freedom quite so well that are going to react against you. It is a simple matter of noticing patterns. That doesn’t make it right, but it is still a truth that irratinoal people are going to do irrational things. Not expecting something that has happened time and time again throughout history is ignorant...why do you think they make you learn it in school? History repeats itself.

So I come back to the beauty of anonymous publication. I’m aware that some of you probably feel that writing anonymously makes us untouchable and is kind of a chicken-shit way out—we don’t have to put ourselves on the line. But I ask you to notice that most contributors offer an email address to which you can respond. Go ahead, write me. Feel free to disagree, I’ll agree to that.

Maybe you’ll give me a new point that I hadn’t thought of. Maybe you’ll change my mind. I mean, I’m always re-evaluating my opinions and myself. Not giving you my real name allows us to have an exchange without prejudice. If you don’t know who I am, you can’t use any previous knowledge or misinformation against the ideas expressed in writing. Nor can you use what I’ve written as a way to judge me before you know me. The opinions I express in this forum are just a small part of who I am. Because I’ve given you a way to contact me, I have put myself on the line. I have made myself vulnerable. And publications like Vanguard Party allow a forum where controversy can be used to make people think. It is one of the few remaining American freedoms. The freedom of speech, kids, use it or lose it.

P.O. Box 266
Bethany, WV 26032