Doyle Srader denounces hostility (“Get Over Yourself,” EW 1/20) but seems OK with insulting the angry. Anger is a valid emotion, useful or destructive; best to identify the difference and act accordingly. Everyone doesn’t have that emotional intelligence. I’ve heard inaccurate arguments: “My laziness or refusal to wear seat belts affects only me.” Avoidable bad health or injury costs all — use of public resources, increased costs of insurances, etc. Our republic respects people’s autonomy and accepts these costs regardless of choices.
It may anger me, but I accept it as part of the social contract. The equivalency of these examples — as well as a pandemic decimating families, towns, our health providers, and supply chains that caused inflation across the planet — simply fails. There is no equivalency with an individual’s battle with cancer (seriously, a sledgehammer and tumor?) or the heartbreak and healing of the Mines School shooting families.
These incidents impact society but are not close to impacts of a virus indiscriminately killing or harming millions. We do not have a cure for cancer, mass shootings or for a lack of intelligence. We do have a 99 percent effective, safe, treatment for COVID and should we all use it, 99 percent would be in less pain today. To those who refuse vaccination because they are angry about being told what to do for the public good, they just need to get over themselves. I concur with what appears to be your point, that public challenges are complicated and solutions require intelligence and cooperative spirit. This will not preclude anger.