Editor’s note: The opinions here are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication.
By Andrew W. Lewis
I am not a politician; which, in today’s particularly dysfunctional political moment, makes me supremely qualified to be one.
Upon reading Mr. Caffrey’s commentary piece [A Reflection: Political Vitriol finds its way to Morris Township, by Dan Caffrey], I thought I might offer some words of political advice to our Township Committee Member:
In today’s post-factual world, you are doing admirably by following your party’s standard-bearer. Mr. Caffrey’s presentation of “alternative facts” is perhaps trumped only by the man that sits in the White House.
Speaking in bold absolutes, Mr. Caffrey declares that after the (two) elections of President Obama “there was no name calling…no protests…no violence…no starting of fires or smashing storefront windows. No likening our next President to the evils of Nazism.”
Ah, how I long for the halcyon days of the Koch brothers-funded Tea Party; of political obstructionism; of the profoundly racist birther movement led by the tiny, orange-tweeting hands of a bored billionaire from his gilded tower; of the deplorable attacks upon our first family, which we don’t even need to mention here because the internet has preserved them for eternity.
No, Mr. Caffrey, these things sadly did happen. You are right to observe that they continue. You are wrong to refer to half of your constituents as “snowflakes” (particularly in a time when the demographics of this town are profoundly changing in a way that does not favor the traditional Republican party).
Name-calling has likely always been a part of American political discourse. With our Tweeter-in-Chief at the helm, we can be assured that flames of hatred will continue to be stoked, one 140-character outburst at a time.
I have never met Mr. Caffrey. I have never met Ms. Wilson for that matter, either. I have found Morris Township to be a generally well-run town and a nice community to live in.
I applaud that our elected officials are engaging with a concerned citizenry. I only ask that if Mr. Caffrey is to stand on a morally superior soapbox and beseech us to drop the name calling, to end the nasty, partisan politics that have brought our government to the brink of dysfunction, that he be prepared to do so himself.
It has been said that every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings. Every time a politician pens an op-ed that presents alternative facts, or falsehoods, or outright lies, another citizen that has been sitting on the sidelines of American politics becomes awakened.
Now THAT is how we make America great again!
Andrew Lewis resides in Morris Township with his girlfriend. He works in Morristown and is an active member of both communities.