As I go through my daily ritual of reading the contributions to the “Letters to the Editor” of my local newspaper (link here) I am amazed at which writers continue present their arguments in incomprehensible tirades that does little other than allowing them to vent their rage toward perceived wrong doing.
Following a recent Town Hall speech of President Obama’s, a writer wrote in to reject the suggestion he thought the President was making about fulfilling the dreams for Americans. The writer, a known anti-Obama protagonist remarked that he didn’t “need a politician to fulfill my dreams. I am capable of doing that for myself, and have done so for all of my adult life.” I couldn’t agree more but I listened to that town hall meeting too and I didn’t hear the President say that HE would fulfill the dreams of the American people but would do what he could in his capacity TO HELP those struggling to fulfill their dreams or merely hold onto to them in light of the economic carnage we are currently experiencing
We’ve heard this Libertarian strain all too often and yet such people seem unaware that governments can benefit citizens during tough economic times. Working Americans who have lost their lifelong jobs from the mishandling of the public trust inside and out of government are finding themselves up the creek without a paddle and if it requires some federal assistance in the form of either direct aid from unemployment benefits or indirectly through the funding of new technologies to jump start 21st century job growth, then that assistance is due them since they have paid into the system all their lives.
No man is an island and there are times when we need a helping hand to get us back into a productive mode. Most are able to do so when down with help from family and friends but many are without this support. Such people should be able to ask their government that has reduced their paycheck each week when they were working to help for a brief time when they’re not. Governments do this for large private corporations all the time, even while they are profitable; is there anything wrong with a little help for working people on rare occasions?
The belief too, expressed by this letter writer, that all Americans “can accomplish their dream dreams if they are willing to stay focused and work hard” is as presumptuous as it is idealistic. It’s a dream we all wish was viable but the fact that one in ten now find themselves unemployed and have been standing in job lines for nearly two years competing with 5 other people for the same job is a testament at this time that such notions are wishful thinking, not practical realities. We need political will and leadership that is willing to look beyond status quo solutions that may ask more fortunate Americans to make temporary sacrifices so their neighbor can get back to a productive life. Attacking them as dead beats and losers is callous and unwarranted and there except for fate go any of us.
Another frequent angry writer who constantly demonizes liberals and Democrats based primarily it appears from information recently conveyed from right-wing blogs, radio pundits and FOX commentators can’t understand why Tea Party members are often seen as bigots and racists. He’s quick to complain about criticism towards those who don’t want the Muslim community center near ground zero but seems oblivious that much of the anti-Islamic sentiment expressed by people of his mindset are not all concerned about the sensitive nature this is to World Trade Center victim’s families. With at least a half a dozen communities around the nation this year alone protesting the building of any mosque in their neighborhood and a so-called Christian pastor in Florida threatening to burn the Muslim holy book as a general protest towards all Muslims, being viewed as a racist and bigot hardly seems inappropriate for such people.
Both of the writers I’m sure are trying to win converts to their convoluted position on issues as well as merely venting their frustration. I understand frustrations when events unfold that seem to be beyond comprehension but their attacks have no realistic targets and do little to “win hearts and minds” of those whose vote will make a real difference this November.
The extremist on the right need no further convincing from each other that their unfounded claims of socialism and actions that “cost us our freedom” are rampant amongst liberals and Democrats. It’s understandable that they would want to vent about things they’ve surely been misled to believe and appear to threaten their values. But protesting about things that are baseless and providing no substantive information to check their views against reality is hardly the way to expect thinking independents and moderates to agree with them and thus vote with them.
Making baseless claims about being denied their free speech seems ludicrous in light of the fact that the entire community can read their rant unrestricted as I do when I open my newspaper each day. Their straw man arguments and soap box tirades are devoid of facts and data that support them. There may be some genuine political concerns by some within this “Tea Party anger” but we’re not only NOT hearing these arguments, we are simply finding that they are uncompromising on just about everything that doesn’t fit their dated and narrow concepts of the Constitution.
If there are serious issues they feel are not being fairly presented to the public, they need to be specific. Provide details that can be verified in order for people to fairly access them and judge for themselves if they exist in reality or only in their mind. By making the outrageous charge that only Democrats and liberals are the most egregious offenders, their claims have no credibility. And yet they continue to repeat their haranguing, hoping I suppose that such nonsense will eventually be believed simply by repeating it over and over again.
That in fact may be the result if it is not their intent; not to inform but frighten voters into accepting what they’ve already rejected. Too many times we see how uninformed people are easily deceived. They may not get all they want but the fringe element that write such letters to the editor slowly erode the public dialogue and often leave many reluctant to participate in the political process or, at the very worst, susceptible to the fantasies that such angry people promulgate.