(Editor’s note: This column ran in the Fairbanks NewsMiner after an especially lively exchange between the Brothers Cole (Dermot and Terrence) and the author. It’s too good to not share.)
By RICHARD RANDOLPH
This will be my last response to columnist Dermot Cole’s out-of-context exaggerated name-calling, cherry-picking misrepresentations and attempts at character assassination. I did not accuse him of crimes against humanity. I did point out that the beliefs he articulated and appears to support have resulted in undeniable crimes against humanity.
My political and economic philosophies and stands on the issues are well known and based on the fact that I was elected four times by my friends and neighbors in the Fairbanks area to the Alaska Legislature, the last time with the highest vote total in Fairbanks.
Shucks, if I was the guy Dermot represents me to be, I would not support myself. But, fortunately, when I look in the mirror and contemplate who I am, I sleep very well.
I have reread the article that Dermot referred to and had others do likewise, and we can find no insulting personal attacks on Dermot or his brother. I do refer to Dermot as having socialistic beliefs and that those kinds of beliefs, when adopted by governments, have led to much human suffering.
I do believe that history verifies that fact, as the examples I gave substantiate. If Dermot finds being referred to as a socialist insulting, I’m sorry, so I hope he will enlighten me as to why that is not the case or, if he agrees it is an accurate description, why he would be insulted.
It is obvious that we do have very different beliefs and views of the world. Dermot seems to believe in democratic socialism and I in individual freedom, responsibility and free markets. I suggest we bury the hatchet and going forward focus on more meaningful and productive discussions of the important issues facing we Alaskans. I will enthusiastically debate the issues but have not and will not stoop to the misleading insulting out-of-context attacks he employed against me, most recently in his tirade printed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on April 16.
Disagreeing on issues and substance and forcefully stating a case is entirely appropriate, impugning one’s character and veracity is not — and, as I said, I do not believe I have participated in so doing. I will continue to defend my beliefs and discuss and promote issues and positions that I believe will create a happier environment for individual Alaskans.
Going forward I will be committed to positive dialogue and presentation of issues and diligently strive to present positive solutions to Alaska challenges as I see them to be and avoid any personal commentary. I sincerely hope Dermot can commit to the same.
Richard “Dick” Randolph moved to Alaska in 1960 and lives in Fairbanks, where he owns and operates an insurance business. He served in the Alaska Legislature as a Republican from 1970-74 and as a Libertarian from 1978-82. Most recently he was special adviser for constitutional reform during Gov. Michael Dunleavy’s transition into office.