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Communicating Respectfully as we Enter the Election Year

Copyright: nebari / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: nebari / 123RF Stock Photo

Social media is a frightening place these days especially as we enter into an election year.  As a columnist, any opinion that I express is always met with some agreement and some disagreement.  Respectful debate is enlightening and can even help us learn how to get along even though we have different opinions. The key for all of us is to realize that how we feel about most topics is only an opinion and not fact.  So many people who respond to blogs or columns act as if their feelings are facts and that leads to nasty comments and personal attacks.  As moms, we may disagree on all sorts of issues, but the more we support each other, the better our community functions.

Personally, I consider myself conservative on most fiscal issues but liberal on social issues.  I support human rights and apparently that puts me in the liberal category.  I think people should be treated equally no matter their color, race, sexual orientation, career choice, etc.  One topic that I have passion for is finding ways to make our communities and families safer when it comes to gun violence.  When I write about this subject, I am constantly attacked and criticized and I have no problem with that unless the attacker uses one word – libtard.  This term, which is a combination of liberal and retard, is the most offensive thing I think any of us can say and I hope as moms we can all agree that there are better ways to express disagreement than to use this term.

To imply that a person with a liberal belief is learning disabled is disgusting in my opinion.  The word retard should have been dropped from our vocabulary so many years ago and I don’t even like typing it.  I think of the parents that have children with disabilities and how they must feel when they see the word libtard thrown around.  These same people that use this term are usually always writing about their strong views on their Christian faith and I have a hard time considering somebody Christian that would use such a term.  It is inappropriate on every level to attack people because their opinions differ from your own.  It is excellent to provide intellectual debate and respectful opinions.  From those types of productive discussions, we can solve problems and grow as humans.

If you are using libtard in any of your discussions with anybody, you should really think about the image you are portraying and realize that you are insulting innocent people with learning disabilities and also implying that close to 50% of the country is just plain stupid when it comes to their own beliefs about our country and politicians.  Instead, I encourage people to embrace each other’s differences and commit to conversations that lead us forward and not backwards.  As a group of united moms, we can be the example in our own conversations with each other, even if we have lots of different opinions on many different subject matters.  I think we can all agree that the word libtard is just plain wrong and needs to be eliminated immediately.


About Katie Coombs

Katie Coombs
Katie Coombs is a native Nevadan that calls Reno home with her husband Chris and their blended family of four boys, three girls. By day, she’s a small business owner and financial advisor, but has recently added radio show host, RGJ columnist, blogger and newborn mom (again) to her résumé. Her radio show, “Uncommon Sense,” column and blog focus on family values and parental leadership through the simple use of common sense. When she is not working on her radio show, fulfilling her duties as a business owner, or raising the small country that is her family, she enjoys camping, cheering for her kids at their sporting events and watching the Giants and the 49ers.

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