Letter: McDonald-Smith misses the point about coexisting

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I can’t tell if Julie McDonald-Smith is intentionally misrepresenting and insulting people she labels liberal, or if she is actually that ignorant and misinformed about people who really are liberal.
 
Her convoluted “reasoning” manages to attribute meanings to “COEXIST” bumper stickers that are precisely the opposite of their true and intended meaning.  Above all, they are in support of tolerance, individual freedoms and non-violence. Behaving according to these values is the only way to prevent the emergence of groups like ISIS, which are born out of ideologies that are intolerant, violent, against individual freedoms and just waiting to respond to perceived disrespect or injustice.
 
These are the people one cannot coexist with once they’re stirred up. But there will always be such groups trying to raise their ugly heads. (And yes, Bush/Cheney did help savage groups like ISIS into their current position of power by destabilizing the whole region with their totally unnecessary war in Iraq.  Our arrogance about “shock and awe,” and the imagined welcoming of U.S. troops into Iraq would get nearly anyone’s goat.)  We (the U.S.) broke it, and yes we should do everything in our power to fix it, i.e., to protect the lives, opportunities and freedoms of the many diverse peoples there: to help them to someday be able to coexist.
 
An “idiotic bumper sticker?” Hardly.  More like the most concise way imaginable of communicating the liberal values that just might prevent us from getting into the kind of pickle we’re in now.
 
Nancy O’Hagan
Portland
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