The Nov. 15 edition of The Sylva Herald published a letter by Ronnie Mau, son of Jackson County Commissioner Ron Mau, concerning a post on the Jackson County Democratic Party website that compared his father to Chairman Mao Zedong.
I have not seen this post in that I do not look at the websites of either the Democratic or Republican parties for information needed to determine my choices in voting. I am registered to vote as an unaffiliated voter. I look to the newspapers, listen to what the candidates say, and look into both their political backgrounds and how they have voted on previous issues. That said, I was one of the harshest critics of the outside money entering local county politics in his father’s campaign for the chairmanship of the county commissioners, as evidenced by my letters to the editor.
Mr. Mau Jr. is correct, though, in that name-calling has, or maybe I should say, should have no place in our political system.
I may attack a candidate’s policies, I may attack his or her means of financing the campaign, I may even question the motivation behind a candidate’s actions, but that candidate should always be afforded the decent respect that all individuals should be afforded simply by existence. I believe that respect can be earned. But I also believe that respect should be given to all until an individual’s actions show that respect is no longer due that person because of his or her actions. I have observed nothing in Mr. Mau’s character that would lead me to disrespect him as a person. I may disagree with his policies and where he stands, which I often do, but that is a matter of disagreement, not of disrespect.
If the post as described by Mr. Mau Jr. is still on the Jackson County Democratic Party’s website, it should be removed, and Mr. Mau should receive an apology.