To the editor:

Having been a parent of teens during the blue-dress-and-cigar era, I have empathy for the man who disrupted the recent town hall held by Congressman Hagedorn. The heckler specifically — and endlessly — shouted questions about how President Trump could be held up as a model for “our children.”

It’s a question that brings back not only the blush-inducing misdeeds of President Clinton but also the unease I experienced when my children reminded me that President Obama had enthusiastically “inhaled.” It dredges up the trauma of learning of the X-rated White House escapades of President Kennedy, my childhood hero, whose photo was taped to the wall above my nightstand.

Clearly, the town hall disrupter and I have in common our deep dismay at the passing of the age of the virtuous statesman. We part company, however, in our strategy for responding to the disappointing personal behavior of our political leaders. It makes no sense to me to protest the sins of others by engaging in deplorable public conduct yourself.

I abhor abusive and exploitative sexual behavior by powerful men and women, and I’m no fan of coarse language. But those bipartisan transgressions are certainly no more destructive than the kind of bullying that silences our elected officials and their constituents.

Debra L. Kaczmarek


Originally published in the Faribault Daily News March 2020