Dennis Dalman’s Jan. 22 column – professionally titled, “We are supposed to empathize with lunatics?!” – reminds us that writing in a state of anger is often unwise, especially for a columnist.
His central point is that “unity” is no reason to reconcile with anyone who questions mask mandates, disputes election results or believes conspiracy-theory claims about vaccine microchips and the Satanic Deep State . . . all of whom Dalman lumps into the same category.
As it happens, Dalman’s writing style makes him look as unstable as his targeted villains.
He begins by squeezing seven derogatory labels into his first three paragraphs: disinformation peddlers, conspiracy crackpots, anti-maskers, election-fraud howlers, anti-vaxxers, loud liars and dangerous fools.
The remainder of Dalman’s essay is all mockery and no substance. He calls Sidney Powell the latest example of “outlandish stupidity,” and compulsively uses distracting adjectives like “paranoid fancies,” “nightmare notions” and “lunatic theories.”
This renders his article useless because he’s speaking to an audience that (a) already rejects these conspiracy theories and learned nothing new; (b) subscribes to these theories with greater resolve after having read his piece; or (c) finds themselves somewhere in the middle with varying degrees of skepticism towards both conspiracy theorists and the mainstream media.
Dalman may have won over a few group C members had his central thesis not been drowned in a sea of modifiers and exclamation points.
I would respectfully invite Mr. Dalman to be more respectful. No one can express their views persuasively by dousing them with condescension.