“Keep it civil” is a phrase most everyone will agree with. In terms of discussing divisive issues, it’s a plea to encourage people on both sides from resorting to name calling.
However, at this point we see too many people failing to uphold that request when discussing the controversial topics surrounding COVID, whether it’s vaccines, masks or treatments, whether the government or businesses should enforce mask mandates.
We see it on our own comment section and various social media sites. When people depart from this standard, it’s often with the excuse of demonizing the other side as not worthy of a civil conversation, or the matter too is important to keep it civil.
Is that really where we are? We like to think not.
Like it or not, people of many different beliefs and value systems live in Cody, and it’s their right to speak about their views and where they stand on issues. We should be proud of the fact we live in a country where that is still allowed, although it’s concerning to see certain private businesses taking more of a hard line on certain views.
Wyoming, especially, has always been seen as a “live and let live” state and we want to be a part of that ethic. Our job is to provide information and offer a space for people to give their viewpoints, whatever side of the issue they are on. Vaccines and masks have brought out more passion than most issues, but that is no excuse to criticize people who disagree simply for their disagreement.
In our comments section, we have had people with viewpoints on both sides of issues such as vaccine and mask requirements flag comments opposed to their viewpoints as abusive. Sometimes they are, and they’re taken down. But sometimes the commenter is simply expressing the opposite view.
We support your right to tell people vaccines are the best way to get out of this pandemic. And we support your right to say vaccine mandates are a form of government overreach. Just don’t personally attack the person who takes such a stand.
We still support the right of people to be on opposite sides of an issue. Just please debate the issue, and in a civil.