In response to Mr. Klusmann’s letter to the editor on leftist ideology “threatening our country,” and “a corrupt media spewing their hate, lies, and ignorance” from “useless idiots like AOC and the ‘squad,’” what then is an intelligent debate? Does attacking an opposing view by using hateful, repellent language offer up “intelligent debate?”

Maybe the debate you are searching for, Mr. Klusmann, is one in which everyone gives into a fear of others and our multitude of differences and allows one view and one view only to decide how democracy operates in the United States of America. Multiple parties exist in our country for a reason, which then filters down into how and where we receive our news, and how and why we inform our opinions. To imply that people, who would be for or against a politician based on what some perceive to be untenable leanings, are unintelligent because they do not agree with a specific set of ideologies, that line of thought is not the basis for a healthy democracy.

Informing our decisions and ideologies, creating defenses is essential to all sides of the political spectrum. Name-calling, fear and hatred bring out the worst in all of humanity.

Referring to others as “clueless fools” does nothing to strengthen a position; instead, it reveals anxiety regarding people who are different. It exposes a need to compartmentalize and define human beings as somehow less-than-human.

Rhetoric matters. On both sides of the political spectrum. It matters how we address those around us with differing opinions and ideologies. Accusing one side of “spewing hate, lies, and ignorance” and then doing so yourself is not intelligent debate. It is an unaware, unimaginative opinion. Plain and simple, it is a fear of diversity and development. And that is just undemocratic and un-American.

Kara L. Lapp