Guided by Values - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2159967

Guided by Values

I found the letter “False Narrative” [May 18] a clear example of why politics and friendships are divided.

Ed Surgan’s premise is that he is losing friends because of his Republican views — but then puts forth a rant blaming Democrats for the divide. He claims that Democrats “govern in group-think” and then uses as examples Democrats debating policy and the Biden presidency.

“Group-think” is when an idea is agreed upon without debate or discussion of alternatives. The Democratic Party is a big tent party, where different ideas, philosophies and people come together to forge policy — we spend hours in debate working toward consensus and compromise.

Ed Surgan writes that it is easy to demonize Republicans when Trump is the face of the party. Mr. Surgen claims that this is a false narrative. He does not give any examples that Trump is not the face of the Republican Party.

The fact that Mr. Surgan admits that it will be difficult to find a viable candidate to defeat Trump in the primaries seems to support that Trump is the face of the Republican Party and not a false narrative.

I’ve been a Democrat my entire voting life and never agree with everything on the platform, but I’ve always found my values respected. Ed Surgan demonstrated that he does not share my values nor respect them in his last paragraph, when he listed what he feels the Democratic Party represents, with the disrespectful language of “wasted,” “squandered,” “emasculated” and “hemorrhages.”

I disagree with his assessments, but my values guide me to listen and formulate my response.

I believe that the government safety net saves lives, dignity, jobs and democracy. I am not swayed by Mr. Surgan’s list of societal ills, or that Biden and the Democratic Party are harming this county. Quite the opposite. I worried more about my country during the Trump presidency — and the January 6 insurrection cemented my fears.

And to answer Mr. Surgan’s final question, about the definition of a woman, I believe it is more important to define being human and humane. Being human is simply to be a homo sapiens; being humane is to care for the lives of others with compassion and sympathy.

A woman is a subset of humans, and as long as she has compassion and sympathy toward others then she is humane. How does it hurt Mr. Surgan for a human to define which subset they wish to live within? This does not feel humane to me.

I consider myself a sane American and live my life with common sense, and I believe it makes sense that Ed Surgan is losing friends over his politics.

Ann Sutphen

Sag Harbor