LETTERS: Palin, others should keep using right to speak their minds

Eugene Robinson’s column, “Palin needs to take a break from speeches” (Jan. 20, Page 6A) was an inspiration. It never occurred to me that the best way to win a debate with someone you disagree with is to tell them to be quiet.

He references “civil discourse” twice in his column yet dismisses her recent attempt to defend her honor as narcissism and other attempts to communicate as opportunistic. I find it interesting that Palin herself only appeared in the media last week for two things — to offer condolences to the victims in Tucson and then to defend outrageous, and now obviously false, accusations that she had something to do with the violence. How does Mr. Robinson keep a straight face while condescendingly inviting her to remove herself from the public arena after she had been dragged into it by the news media in the first place?

He begins his diatribe suggesting that she keep quiet for “a great while” and finishes by comparing her to Eva Peron and hoping “that there be no next address.” I don’t know which offends me more, his not-so-subtle invitation to forfeit her right to free speech thus narrowing the discourse that built this country and defines its people or his sexist attitude. He might as well have told her, “Politics is for serious men only so sit down and shut up little lady or go fix me a sandwich!”

We must allow the Sarahs of this world as well as the Eugenes to freely speak their mind. History shows that when we stop talking, we start fighting, so let us all talk. Let’s talk openly and without fear, no matter how much you hate it.

— Gary Wirl