A right to criticize the critics

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 9, 2004

Editor, the News-Herald:

In some circles, I have been criticized for choosing to emphasize the positive aspects of life in Suffolk rather than the negative. Well, here I go again!

This time I have an ally, Roger Leonard, who points out in today’s (9/8/04) commentary that when we count our blessings, we must not overlook the Suffolk News-Herald, which serves as a vital outlet for the frustrations of our citizens. I salute the Editor and his staff for providing us with an alternative to the biased liberal drivel found in The Washington Post & New York Times. On the Op-Ed page of the News-Herald you can find most any opinion no matter how bizarre, including my own!

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Now, to the citizen who proclaims being a resident since 1963, I would like to say, welcome aboard! I was born and raised in Suffolk, as were eight generations of my forebears.

Being born and raised in Suffolk provided me the foundation for all that I hold dear in life, including pride in and loyalty to my hometown. As a young man, I was faced with several choices. I could have entered politics as many of my ancestors had done, but a little honest self reflection convinced me I did not possess the traits to be elected dog catcher. Then. I could’ve chosen to stay at home and criticize those who were able to be elected.

Then I was faced with a third choice in how I might best serve the people of my hometown and that is the one I chose: to spend the major part of my life defending this town and this nation and the right of its citizen to stay home and write letters to the editor. So I say to you, my friend, have at it! I am one of those who made it possible for you to do so, but I believe that I have correspondingly earned the right to criticize my hometown’s critics.

In closing, I would like to add a few words that only a few residents will remember, but which so aptly express my feelings: &uot;I was a Peanut born and a Peanut bred and when I die, I’ll be a Peanut dead!&uot;

Tom Cohoon