Town official and Selectman candidate Michael Freda has said in this blog that he won’t respond to ordinary citizen Bubba anymore, and that he is even considering an end to his participation here, because Bubba referred to him as a “moral fraud” (see Freda’s November 27 comment to one blog entry and his November 27 comment to another.
This same town official Michael Freda referred to me (an ordinary citizen) in a far more public venue (two North Haven weekly newspapers) with the following language (and much more):
“Let me cut through all of his nonsensical claims and accusations and tell you exactly how I view his article. His article is the most irresponsible piece of sensationalistic propaganda that I have ever seen on any level. ... His dizzying display of dubious claims, combined with his total inability to offer constructive solutions, concerns me a great deal.”
Government officials have, I believe, a greater responsibility to refrain from showing disrespect to citizens than citizens have to refrain from showing disrespect to officials. Officials have power to make decisions that affect people’s lives and pocketbooks, and they should be representing, not attacking, citizens. Disrespect for government officials is a great American tradition.
Freda’s attack on me was not a personal attack, despite its language. It was an attack on all critics of Board of Finance policies, an attempt to discredit the critics in the eyes of their community and raise the ante for others to criticize North Haven Republican policies.
Bubba and others think that Freda is discredited due to his votes and his inaction, his lack of criticism when criticism was called for. And they’re angry about it. Bubba expressed this with the phrase “moral and political fraud,” which is rough, certainly, but no reason for Mr. Freda to consider saying goodbye to his participation in this blog.
I don’t think Freda has a thin skin, so why is he so upset? What did he expect when he considered throwing his hat into the Board of Selectmen ring? What does his response say about his view of North Haven citizens? Does he have a right to expect more from them than they expect from him?
Maybe Freda is, as Bubba says right after the fraud phrase, seriously out of touch with North Haveners. They’re angry, and they’re going to take some of that anger out on Freda. If Freda didn’t expect this response, then he is out of touch, and perhaps he won’t be able to accurately and effectively represent the town on the Board of Selectmen.