What has happened to us, that we are so angry?

219

With Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
I was very disheartened last Saturday by many of the remarks about our cover story, which I wrote. I will not even mention the subject for fear of stirring the pot again. More than 400 readers commented, an all-time high for this website. Many of those comments were just plain mean-spirited.

Like many people, I am saddened by the rudeness, the meanness of our society, where so many people are so disrespectful to those who may disagree with their beliefs.

I have written bylined essays for more than three decades. Before the internet I received dozens of letters each week from my readers. They arrived in my mailbox. They were almost never rude. People disagreed with me often, but they did so with respect. Not anymore, not with the Internet.

Liberals hate Conservatives and Conservatives hate Liberals. My grandmother told me when I was a little boy to refrain from using the word “hate” unless I really meant it. I’m sorry, Grandma, for disobeying.

In the two years Gail and I traveled full time in our RV, we met a thousand other RVers. We sat around campfires. We joined together for evening cocktails. I never remember one person jumping on another person because they said something that conflicted with their own beliefs. I am sure those people represented the entire political spectrum. And yet we enjoyed our conversations and laughed often.

Some readers of this newsletter think they know it all; they have all the answers. They are right and those who disagree with them are wrong. They have, what the late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar used to call, “hardening of the attitudes.”

The thing is, if you think about it, the people they verbally assault are almost all good people — “Mom” and “Dad” to their kids and “Grandpa” and “Grandma” to their grandkids. They are treasures to their friends. They go to church, volunteer in their communities, do good deeds. And, like you and me, they enjoy their RVs and the lifestyle we are so fortunate to lead. Their politics may be different. What is so wrong with that? Isn’t that our right in a democracy?

Yet, those mean-spirit people can vent their anger, even hatred, when communicating online. Would they say the same if they were face-to-face? I doubt it.

The internet has given everyone the power to share their views with hundreds, even thousands of others. All one needs is a computer or smartphone. The person they attack is faceless, as are they. What has happened to some people that they are so disrespectful to others? Most of us are trying our best. We don’t attack our next door neighbors for being different, but strangers … bombs away! Is it wrong that we should say what we believe, in hopes that in conversation (or in writing) we can come to understand others’ points of view? How do we ever learn, even grow, if we stop exploring ideas that conflict with our own?

To those of you who respect others, who enjoy hearing others’ opinions, you are to be treasured in today’s angry world. I hope you remain a part of this audience for as long as I can move my fingers across a keyboard.

chucksignature

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219 Comments
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Peggy Rice
6 months ago

How about “play nice in the sandbox of life” and what happened to “respect”? There is a huge lack of respect in this world today, very sad. Please be nice to one another, listen to others and be kind in your answer. Thank you Chuck and everyone that puts time and effort into this newsletter, we truly appreciate it (and sometimes we might not agree with it, but we still appreciate it)

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
6 months ago
Reply to  Peggy Rice

Thank you for the kind words, Peggy. We appreciate (and respect) you! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

alcomechanic
6 months ago

Chuck, I wonder if it might be that with the internet you don’t have to think as much about what your going to say. You’re mad and you start typing and if you make a mistake you can easily go back and change what you wrote.

Back when you sat down with a paper and pencil, you would think about what you were going to say so you didn’t make a mistake and have to start over. Maybe that gave us time to think about what the other person said and reevaluate our response.

Another thing is the lack of personality. When you sat down, you were writing to a person. I think sometimes when people sit at the computer, it’s like they are talking to themselves. A lot of times when we’re face to face, we might think the things that are being said on the internet, but facing the person, live, we would never say these things to them. (Maybe because we want to keep our teeth!)

Sometimes if we’ll just listen, we might just discover that we’re wrong and the other person’s right.

Darrel
11 months ago

Stop stirring the pot with your liberal biased articles and viewpoints and perhaps the divisiveness you intentionally create will dissipate.

Karen B Bickell
11 months ago

I know exactly what you mean by “hate expressed verbally or written”. We have bumped into it ourselves over the years but rarely. Recently, within 5 years, we see and hear it much more often. We avoid discussion of politics, and say it upfront when it is brought up by another.

Donald N Wright
11 months ago

If you want to experience RV park grumbling and anger, park your Popup trailer or pickup camper in your assigned pull through site.

mdstudey
11 months ago

Or your 23 tt.

Rob
11 months ago

Maybe some folks won’t admit it but the amount of stress people are living under today is insane. Everyone is trying to keep up with the Jones. Debt loads are off the charts as people want and have to have everything the rich can afford. People buy everything above there means from cars to houses, smart phones, vacations, RV’s etc etc etc. All of this debt has created a huge bubble in almost all markets. A large percentage of seniors have a fraction of money required to retire without worrying about money. With interest rates so low there isn’t anyplace to invest our money without the risk of loosing it all. Politics in the US is completely insane. People will shoot each other because they are a Republican or Democrat when in reality both parties have completely destroyed your country. Civil wars are coming to a US state by you.

chipper
1 year ago

bravo… I’ve left bulletin boards because of this. I’ve seen a person ask a simple question be taken to their knees because someone else asked the same question a year ago and heaven forgive them because they didn’t search the archives. The fundamental idea if a BBS is to allow people to ask questions and seek answers. Yes, you are correct. It’s too easy to criticize a faceless person. The internet has done so much good for us and so much bad has come from it too.

Brian
1 year ago

Ah yes, the problem and the answer. This world runs on Money.. Power.. and Sex. If your lacking in one or more of these areas you are angry at other people that have the one(s) you’re missing in life. Listen carefully to what people say in a conversation or watch how they act in any given situation you can quickly figure out which area they’re lacking in and are trying to make up for it.
Just get on the highway and drive 10 MPH over the speed limit in the fast lane you’ll see what I mean. I drive a very expensive car ,men look away when I drive past women stare and smile, I’ve been brake checked for no apparent reason. I’ve had people dump drinks and spit on my car.

Gail Behrle
1 year ago

Well said Chuck!

David R Van Gelder
1 year ago

Chuck,
I am a 76 year old retired farmer from Vermont and I could not agree with you more.
In addition to the internet being available we also have been inundated from our leader in Washington who should be setting the example for our country. Instead he tries to act like a dictator who has no regard for his words and deeds. Words have consequences !
His example for our country is to bully his opponents, threaten if he doesn’t get his way, be just down right mean when it suits him.
Our president has set our country back many years and in so many ways. Civility to our fellow man is not a part of his life and he is spreading it across our country.
I pray our next president can reverse this.

Carol A Forrest
11 months ago

You are exactly what is wrong with social media–nasty comments about politics. Please keep your politics to yourself. I, personally, do not want to read your opinion on the President. You know the old saying, “Opinions are like a$$holes, we all have one”.

Darrel
11 months ago

Here we go with the INTENTIONAL liberal baiting of other citizens. Knock it off!!!

Darrel
11 months ago

And ultra liberal Chuck let’s nasty divisive comment’s like this stand – as he calls for civility.

Paulette
1 year ago

It is our right to voice our opinions but in a respectful manner and not with force or I’m right,your wrong! I think it is because people can be anonymous and hide their identity.

Brian
1 year ago

It called “Internet muscles”, it’s the new way to bully people and you get to walk away unscathed. They will beat you with experience. You did it in High School so you know who you are.
Try it in person, sport.

Darrel
11 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Nice threat of violence “sport” – and all for others posting mere words…..

Captn John
1 year ago

I get ads I do not like in my mail box and with the newspaper. They are ignored. If not for Chuck’s strong dislike of CW and it’s CEO the ad would not have been mentioned. It would have been ignored. At the very least stating CW is selling guns was only to cause an uproar as CW is NOT selling guns, they simply included an ad of a sister company. Chuck needs to get past the hate of CW and Marcus as it is only going to grow and not go away. Please don’t start the “20 year loan” rant again as all dealers have that financing.

Pierre Woody
10 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

Ya I noticed that Chuck hates CW, I love it, I can order online and they ship to Canada, products we can’t find here and it’s better than waiting 2 and a half months for garbage from China.

Dry Creek
1 year ago

Well, to be fair – I only have one question.

I’m a Lifetime Member of GS (purchased just before the unfortunate political stance taken by ML). I usually get all of the junk mail in the world from them. I have never received any of their catalogs advertising sporting arms.

I feel cheated.

Carolyn M. Ausborn
1 year ago

I just joined this discussion site for RVers and read Chuck Woodbury’s article above about all of the naysayers on this site, angry and rude comments directed at him. I am appalled at the lack of respect everywhere now. What gives people license to do this. I have a feeling, Chuck, that the Cyber Bullies (which I believe they are) are also bullies in their real lives. I would bet money, if I were a betting person. People’s characters are changing with changing times. Civility is becoming a dying virtue. Is it wasted on the young? I do not think so. I think there is a broad spectrum of humanity that is seething and angry about whatever is happening in their lives. So sorry about it

Cooper
1 year ago

Wow….sorry for you being attacked, Chuck. What is wrong with the world?
As a Canadian it has been my sad observation that America is becoming more and more negatively divided, especially on internet forums, twitterer etc. and face to face. Why so much hate?

That’s not to exclude us Canadians….we are not perfect.

I wonder at what age people learn to hate? And who are their teacher?

We can do better.

Cooper

tbrown
1 year ago
Reply to  Cooper

I think if we spend a great deal more time ignoring the establishment media’s claims, which appear to be great catalysts when it comes to widening of the boundaries between groups, that would help – also, the hate doesn’t seem to be nearly so blatant the minute you leave the big city – small town and country folk don’t seem to have nearly the problem with facing opposing opinions/ideals.. is what I’ve noticed… actually very pleasant people…

Steve Winterowd
1 year ago

The only people that can really hurt you are the ones you care about- the rest are like a yapping dog and deserve the same amount of attention. Most folks are good, but the ones hiding behind a screen name seem to feel that it’s okay to be spiteful and mean, just like this nasty little dog a relative had that was a vicious killer when it was safe behind a window or a car door. Once it lost that protection it would quite often wet itself. If you visualize trolls as that dog, it takes a lot of the pain out of their attacks. It also puts them at the level they deserve- inconsequential.

Hosmer
1 year ago

Well all I can say is that there is a lot of hate out there, and it was further fueled by the most recent election of DT. It will get worse before it gets better I am sorry to say. None the less we don’t condone it, but just to answer to ?Why?

tbrown
1 year ago
Reply to  Hosmer

blaming a politician/our president for the current harvest of bad behavior is not the fix either… perhaps if the media spent less time hating, so would people, although in small town America I’m not seeing this hate fest…

Relaxing
1 year ago
Reply to  Hosmer

Wow! That’s “all you can say”? Your answer is to join the media circus, spout some political nonsense and add another “blame Donald’ comment? Last I looked, both sides have massive guilt on this. That you single out just one person on one side says everything.
And we wonder why we have issues in America????? I know, I know, according to you, every single thing is DT’s fault, right? Amazing.
Here’s a very strong suggestion you might take to heart.
Anyone – ANYONE who wishes we had more civility in America should look straight into the mirror first.

Claud Addicott
1 year ago
Reply to  Relaxing

tbrown & Relaxing,

I can understand how you interpreted Hosmer’s comment as blaming President Trump for current heightened incivility in this country. This might even have been Hosmer’s intention, but it’s not what was actually written.

Hosmer mentioned the ELECTION of President Trump as fueling the hate – not President Trump himself.

This could easily be interpreted as blaming the reactions of the opponents of President Trump for the increase in hate.

Only Hosmer can say which interpretation – or perhaps both – was intended.

Erinn
1 year ago
Reply to  Claud Addicott

Oh, puhleeze… is there really much difference in blaming something on the “ELECTION” of the man, rather than blaming something on the man himself?! NO, there isn’t & WHY DO SOME FOLKS HAVE TO BRING POLITICS into everything?! We’re talking about people replying in a rude and/or hurtful manner, nothing more!

michael hayes
1 year ago

Chuck you are doing it again! You are refusing to take responsibility for YOUR disingenuous remarks last week, which were bound to provoke some blunt comments. I will cop to being blunt. You insisted that you were taking neither a pro nor anti-gun position, but merely asked the innocent question whether GS should be “involved” in selling firearms. Total nonsense and an insult to your readership’s intelligence. You took a transparently anti-gun position. Then you refused to admit you had done so, and called us mean when we called you out. And this week you are back on your hobby horse, still smarting from the reaction to your less-than-honest remarks from last week. Let it go, man!

tbrown
1 year ago
Reply to  michael hayes

Amen –

Sheridan J Ball
1 year ago
Reply to  michael hayes

I think you need to follow your own advice, Michael Hayes. “Let it go, man!”

Erinn
1 year ago

Amen to that!

Richard
1 year ago
Reply to  michael hayes

Absolutely

Gene Bjerke
1 year ago

It is so easy to hide behind a “handle.” Would the internet be more courteous if we all had to use our full, real names?

michael hayes
1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

In todays fascist society where one can be fired, deplatformed, blacklisted, boycotted and in other countries-arrested- for expressing the “wrong” opinion one would be stupid NOT to “hide” behind a handle.

Relaxing
1 year ago
Reply to  michael hayes

Watching Christianne Amanpour interview James Comey this past week on CNN was all one had to know about where America is headed if we do not stop this dangerous PC ugliness.
You want to knock my ciews and be crass about it – have at it. We should NEVER give in to those who wish to judge our speech. This is not France or the UK. Say what you want.
The most dangerous government is the one that is able to legally judge our FREE SPEECH.