CIVILITY: Politeness, an act of politeness.
Kiss civility gone; kick it to the curb; send it to the dog house; out of sight, out of mind. In today’s 24-hour, anonymous, non-stop technology environment, civility has all but disappeard. While I am no fan of Matt Kelty, the recent spurt of anti-Kelty blogs is ludicrous. Two new blogs, hosted in anonymity, that I visited in the last 24 hours include “stopkelty.com” and “felons4mattkelty.blogspot.com.”
The “stopkelty.com” blog is listed on the Fort Wayne Observed home page with comments by Mitch Harper. While I disagree that the blog would be considered an “in-kind” contribution as suggested by Mr. Harper, I am disappointed that those who oppose Matt Kelty would take this type of action. The blog carries as a subtitle :
“this website is funded privately by registered voters that care about freedom of speech and and the 1st Amendment. We are not accepting donations. If you wish to donate, please contact:”
It then provides Tom Henry’s contact information. If I were Mr. Henry, I would distance myself as far as possible from the blog and its efforts. The blog makes the “noble” statement that it is “funded privately by registered voters that care about freedom of speech and the 1st amendment.” Sure, the authors have the right to create the blog – almost anything goes in the internet world anymore.
But my question for the host of the blog is how does Mr. Kelty threaten our First Amendment rights? My guess is that it may have to do with Mr. Kelty’s stance on sexually oriented businesses. Or could it be that the host of the blog and his fellow registered voters are concerned about Mr. Kelty’s religious zeal? However, the First Amendment has never been an absolute, and obscenity, unlike political speech, is one of those areas of speech that does not enjoy full protection of the First Amendment. Religious freedom is also subject to restrictions. While our beliefs are absolute, our actions can be regulated. To think that Mr. Kelty can single-handedly squash First Amendment rights is attributing way too much power to him.
The second blog “felons4mattkelty.blogspot.com” is truly vindictive. Mr. Kelty is entitled to his hearing with the Allen County Election Board to present his position; no decision has been made yet as to whether he committed a civil and/or a criminal act. The Board will decide the civil issue, and the prosecutor will decide the criminal issue. Until that time, Mr. Kelty deserves the opportunity to be heard and present his position.
What really gauls me is that the two authors or however many are involved have decided to hide behind anonymity. The “stopkelty.com blog” lists no profile. Mitch Harper tracked down the domain registrant as Greg Siler, so I assume Mr. Siler is responsible for the blog. The “felons4mattekelty.typepad. com” blog has the obligatory “view my complete profile”, but, gee, guess what, it doesn’t have any information when you look at it.
I dislike the increasing trend toward “anonymous” comments. Cowards hide behind the shield of anonymity so they don’t have to take responsibility for their comments. Anonymity allows them to say anything they want with no consequences, regardless of the impact of their statements. Why would anyone not want to post under his or her name? And that is simply a rhetorical question on my part. I have seen all the excuses, and I don’t buy any of them.
And, lest anyone not know my political bent, read the caption in my blog title. My defense of Matt Kelty has to do with civility and fairness, not party politics. Have we really come to this?