LTE: politicization column is peculiar



UNI student Caleb Stekl pens a letter to the editor criticizing a column that called for the end of politicization while including a quote from Kellyanne Conway.

Letter to the Editor

Editor’s note: the following letter to the editor was submitted in response to the opinion column “Why is everything politicized?” that appeared in the Nov. 13, 2017 edition of the Northern Iowan.

Why is everything politicized? What a peculiar way to start a conversation about the merits of sexual harassment allegations, gun violence and global warming.

Even more peculiar is the way that Tanner ends his article with the argument that politics has been reduced to Twitter fights, when he is raging in an opinion column.

First, he claims that being a Hollywood actor disqualifies you from making political statements because being famous “didn’t make you a political science major.”

By that logic, Tanner, as a biology major, should not be commenting on politics either. Yet mysteriously, this standard is not applicable to himself. 

Second, he claims to have “heard a cheer from all the liberals on campus” as he wrote that Donald Trump has sexual harassment claims against him. No one is cheering that Trump probably verbally, and psychically, harassed women in a sexual manner. 

Any partisan bickering on which side is more critical of those guilty of sexual misconduct and who share the same political leanings as themselves takes away from the victim’s plight and the perpetrator’s guilt. 

Third, Tanner is bewildered “why it takes 20-plus years for someone to make a sexual harassment claim, often when the accused is trying to make a political stance.”

The pure ignorance of this should be obvious, and if it isn’t, women are terrified to come forward with sexual harassment allegations because their careers will likely be ruined. To blame anyone for sexual harassment except the perpetrator is degrading and misogynistic.

Fourth, Tanner’s column has racist tendencies. He equates isolated incidents of home-grown terrorism to be a greater threat to this nation than gun violence.

He calls “liberals” to “look at the face” of the New York truck terrorist. The only reason a white man calls people to look at a terrorist’s face is to reveal defining features: dark skin and a beard. Ah yes, and the liberals are the ones nitpicking facts.

To end his argument, Mr. Schrad quotes the original alternative factoid machine, Kellyanne Conway. Perhaps Tanner should take his own advice: less Twitter fighting and less opinion lambasting, and instead “look at the cold, hard facts.”

— Caleb Stekl