Letter to the Editor: Andrea Bates on Combating Divisiveness Print


To the Editor:

Apr. 5, 2017:  In early November 2016, Michele Ruhm wrote a letter to the editor of MyhometownBronxville.com asking that, in advance of the election, "we recognize the integrity of others' decisions, even when we disagree with them" and that we not "demonize those who have made a choice differing from theirs."

Having read Rene Atayan's letter dated March 29, I can only ask if anyone read Ms. Ruhm's letter, or, more cynically, if anyone cares.

On March 21, the village held an election. The votes were counted and the incumbents won re-election. Congratulations to them all--it is apparent that they have done and will, no doubt, continue to do great work. I find it both troubling and disheartening, however, that in her letter, Ms. Atayan chose to demonize the opposition candidate as a threat to our everyday life and as "going after" the incumbents, as though it were a witch hunt. Is it really necessary to berate the already-defeated candidate? Why not let the vote speak for itself?

I believe that new ideas, proposals, and perspectives are necessary for a healthy, robust debate. In this instance, a contested election is nothing more than the introduction of a fresh and most likely different perspective.

We all have the right to accept or turn down these new ideas and proposals, but I submit that we do not, as a civilized society, have the right to be disrespectful and dismissive of those ideas and opinions that do not match our own. We can agree to disagree and remain civil and respectful in the process.

The negativity and divisiveness that have crippled this country have to stop. I can't be the only one who is tired of the persistent "us vs them" mentality. When are we, as a country and society, going to recognize and embrace the idea that we're all in this together and that we must work together, regardless of our differences, to move the country, and our communities, forward?

I'm truly scared that we'll never get there.

Andrea Bates
Bronxville, New York

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.