Readers Complain; Points Taken.
For quite a number of years, I have enjoyed exchanging personal emails with regular readers of this blog. We all have a great deal in common, but sometimes those emails have been about our differing political views. In a comment posted just yesterday on this site, one of those regular readers complains that I am overly critical of political conservatives. Maybe so … but we all have our biases. This same individual seems convinced that all of Amtrak’s faults and problems could be corrected overnight simply by sacking every union employee.
Another reader objects to my criticism of Trump. But given the fact that it’s my name “on the door”, so to speak, I do feel free to express my concern—perhaps even outrage—when, for example, Trump appointed former Congressman Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia to the Amtrak Board of Directors. Westmoreland, some of you may recall, had a “perfect” voting record when it came to legislation affecting Amtrak: he voted against Amtrak every single time. Does that not warrant an expression of concern from an advocate for passenger rail? Perhaps even a modicum of outrage?
Most recently there have been complaints as to my use of profanity in these posts. I don’t think I’ve employed cuss words more than a couple of times and never gratuitously, but rather as a device to emphasize or add impact to a point I was trying to make. For example, I think I noted that the estimated cost of the president’s blankety-blank wall along the Mexican border would cover Amtrak’s federal subsidy for something like 17 years. OK, guilty as charged.
I confess, however, that I was really stung by the accusation that my occasional use of a cuss word was intended to make me “sound smart or sophisticated”, and that, in fact, it has made me come off as “trashy and somewhat inarticulate”.
OK, I’ll give you “trashy”. But ”inarticulate”? That hurts!