I'm a retired professor, taught at Eastern Oregon University for more than 30 years, and am a conservative. As such, I was in a distinct minority at the workplace and received a lot of good-natured political hassling from colleagues. As you might imagine, most were of a distinctly more liberal persuasion than was l. But we treated each other with respect.

Stuart Croghan (Observer, July 14, 2020, letter to editor) says he knew Ralph Badgley, Paul Stephas and David Gilbert. Okay, I knew them too. All three. And I taught for years with the latter two. They were my friends and fine colleagues. Unlike Mr. Croghan, I also taught with and know Dr. Tom Herrmann, now a retired physics professor.

I know my friend Tom Herrmann as a principled man of high ethical standards. Whereas I may or may not agree with him on all topics, I can respect his point of view, his careful, reasoned arguments (Observer, July 9, 2020, My Voice column). It's just like Tom to present the case for not rushing to a group think conclusion, to look at a broader context and to bolster his opinion with reference to an article in a preeminent scientific journal.

Unlike my friend Tom Herrmann, Mr. Croghan dumps a batch of stuff in his verbal vat — a palpable disdain for President Donald Trump, a helping of hydroxychloroquine hysteria and a judgmental simplification of modern Republican Party members — and his mental concoction ends up a confusing stew in which his assessment of others' ethics bubbles to the top in a layer of toxic intolerance.

I've got a year on Mr. Croghan — I'm 78. I can only hope that he, in the coming months, will mature and that some clarity will ensue. Perhaps a kinder, gentler man, albeit with two degrees, may evolve.

Lyle Schwarz

La Grande

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