In Politics, You Can’t Always Let Things Slide

image of a letter to the editor

I simply had enough. Most days I scan the Letters-to-the-Editor section of my local paper, shake my head, and move on. But last week, I reached my breaking point. I don’t care how mentally unstable you sound, if you can’t even get basic history right, I have to call you on it. That’s why I responded to a recent letter I read. In politics, you can’t always let things slide.

I am NOT a Hillary Clinton fan, I supported Bernie during the primaries, so what set me off about Wayne B.’s letter to the editor on August 4th? He mangles history. THAT pissed me off.

image of Initial letter published 08/04/2016

Never Hillary!

If Hillary Clinton becomes president, political correctness will continue to rob freedomloving Americans of our First and Second Amendment rights.

Freedom of speech and religion will lose all meaning. We will lose our right to speak out on our faith and morals based on the Holy Bible. The human life within the mother’s womb will be threatened right to birth time.

Taxes will increase and our military capability will decrease … under the present administration they already have.

How can we believe her? The FBI leader James Comey affirmed Hillary’s repeated lies to the American people on national TV.

See the documentary movie, “Hillary’s America.” The undeniable historical facts of the Democratic Party ignored by a corrupted political press will shock you.

The following questions will be answered by the movie:

• Which political party freed the slaves in America?

• Which party opposed the Ku Klux Klan?

• Which party promoted a woman’s right to vote?

In each case the Democrats were on the wrong side. You will also find more of Hillary’s shared views with Margaret Sanger and Saul Alinsky.

Wayne B. Findlay

(*note* I have left off the last names of the letter writers. If you want to know who it is feel free to check out the Courier website)

I hope you see the problems I spotted. It wasn’t personal when I responded to this letter. Wayne B.’s letter was one of several fact-free conservative talking points disguised as a letter that I had read the past few weeks and I needed to respond or lose my sanity.

I wanted to address the facts and not do the conservative thing and attack the writer. I thought I did that well.

image of My first letter in response

GOP ignores the Constitution

I really try not to assume I know more than other people. But some of the recent letters to the editor, like the one by Wayne B. (Aug. 4), have dripped with blatant ignorance.

It seems quick use of a search engine and reading credible sources would correct it.

For example, arguing you should vote for a party based on what it stood for over 100 years ago is simply silly.

Yes, the Republicans freed the slaves, but President Lincoln would be a Democrat today.

Yes, Republicans supported a woman’s right to vote in 1920, but today the GOP is at the vanguard of taking away the legal right to abortion through systematic abuse of the application of health and safety laws. The goal is to make it impossible for a woman to exercise her legal rights.

Yes, the GOP opposed the KKK, but today’s GOP works to disenfranchise voters that oppose them through unconstitutional voter ID laws that address non-existent voter fraud and by suspicious purging of voter rolls.

And, unfortunately for Mr. B., there has been no persecution of religious beliefs except by Christians against others who are not Christians, or who don’t believe in a god.

The Constitution says “freedom of religion” with no specific sect named. It also applies to atheists.

The GOP ignores the Constitution as it supports only religious freedom for Christians, which means allowing them to discriminate against women, LGBT people, other religions, and atheists.

If Mr. B. puts himself out as a typical member of the Republican Party, then no wonder the party is in trouble with Mr. Trump as the leader.

We really need to vote for a party that will be inclusive and uphold American ideals we have today and decisions should be made based on reason and evidence and not dubious propaganda like “Hillary’s America.”

Doug Berger Findlay

The conservative propaganda film “Hillary’s America” was playing in our local movie theater the week that Wayne B.’s letter appeared. That people actually believe, without question, the “facts” in such a clap trap film makes me extremely sad but Wayne’s resorting to ultra religious points puts it all into context.

A classic Republican talking point is to describe all the liberal ideas the GOP supported 100 years ago or more and actually want us to believe that the GOP TODAY supports those ideas. They also like to do the opposite and point out all the bad things Democrats believed 100 years ago and infer the party of 1800s is the same as the one today ignoring the whole Dixiecrat to Republican switch because of the Southern strategy used in the late 1960s.

My city is small enough where chances are good a conversation can happen in the letters section so I gird my loins for any response from Wayne B.

Days latter it came:

image of Wayne's response to me

Historical facts can be stubborn

Doug Berger (letter, Aug. 6) would rewrite history if he could, but the facts revealed in “Hillary’s America” are undeniable.

Berger follows the politically correct, false narrative that, if you don’t agree with them, you’re ignorant and/or a hater.

Political correctness would deny one’s freedom to think.

I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and that our Constitution was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic. Christian morality has made America great where all religions have freedom.

Moral relativity denies absolutes and makes us into animals.

The Bible and the Republican platform value the baby in the womb as well as the newborn. Abortion destroys the future of a human life and what that life may have contributed.

“The only people who are for abortion have already been born,” said President Reagan.

The president doesn’t have the authority to make laws. The Supreme Court can give opinions, not make laws. Only the U.S. Congress has the legitimate authority to make laws.

The president is to enforce laws. Obama has himself been lawless, choosing not to enforce some laws.

Before his election, Obama said he was a traditional marriage man. He changed, but God’s law and nature’s law has not changed. God made them male and female.

Electricity will only work with a male plug and a female outlet. It takes a man and a woman to produce life and every child needs a father and mother.

Wayne B. Findlay

First thing to notice in Wayne’s letter is he simply dismisses my corrections of his wrong view of the history of the Republican party. He then brings in political correctness, religion, and blaming President Obama just to counter my reasonable response.

My favorite part is the comparing same-sex marriage to electricity. WOW!

I composed and sent in a response and the Editorial page editor at the paper sent me an email that they had another response to me from another writer and I might want to wait until I read it. I’m glad I did wait.

Ralph A. and I have exchanged letters before. The last time was almost a year ago over his fact-free view of the Obergefell v. Hodges U.S. Supreme Court decision. So his letter on August 11th didn’t surprise me:

image of Ralph's response to me

Writer reveals ‘blatant ignorance’

I don’t believe of accusing anyone of blatant ignorance, but here again, I have to say Doug Berger’s replies (letter, Aug. 6) to Mr. B. are “dripped with blatant ignorance.”

To equate the right to vote to abortion is ludicrous. Mr. Berger, I take it you’re not a Christian. But we rule pretty much by the Ten Commandments.

Have you heard “Thou shalt not kill”? Sound familiar? Have you ever heard of the dictionary? Look up the word fetus. Abortion is killing fetuses. That is murder. Women have the right to kill their own baby.

You mentioned the KKK and voter ID laws in the same sentence. Hardly the same. Let us say that is also ludicrous.

You refer to the “unconstitutional voter ID laws.” Why? Did you read them? Or is it because it was written by Republicans? One vote by a person who is unqualified to vote very possibly cancels my vote. Strict voter ID laws are a must. How can you state with such certainty that voter fraud is nonexistent?

Lastly, but perhaps even more importantly, is that you, and it seems all of you who argue against Christianity, refer continually to the wonderful results of the last 60 years of civil rights victories. Civil rights, if you consider the results, were and are the major cause of the absolute sad state this country now finds itself in.

Not admitting this is blatant ignorance.

Ralph A. Arlington

I will point out that making an argument just repeating the other person’s words isn’t an argument. It sounds childish too.

Ralph also missed the point of my letter and adds more fact-free points of his own.

How can I state with such certainty that voter fraud is nonexistent?

Here’s one recent proof.

So I rewrote my response to Wayne’s letter to include a response to Ralph’s letter. My letter was published on August 13th:

image of My response to Wayne and Ralph

Shed the rosecolored glasses

Wayne B. (letter, Aug. 10) accused me of rewriting history to be politically correct. Ralph A. (letter, Aug. 11) repeated my words back to me as if that is a rebuke, and mistakenly said “we rule pretty much by the Ten Commandments.”

Both gentlemen are free to think or believe however they want, but they aren’t free to use whatever “facts” they want or agree with, and both need to brush up on their history and put down the rose-colored glasses they wear.

B. should know the “facts” presented in the obvious propaganda film he mentioned, by Dinesh D’Souza, who was actually convicted of illegal campaign donations in 2012, is only as factual as a tabloid magazine.

I did deny those “facts” in my letter and offered proofs. My points are easy to find in sources subject to peer review and journalistic ethics. There is nothing wrong with having religious views against abortion but it is legal in this country and how the Bible or Jesus feels about it should be irrelevant.

“Murder” is taking a life unlawfully. If we accept A.’s definition then murder also includes killing during wars or capital punishment of criminals.

Besides, the Holy Bible never specifically outlaws abortion.

The Bible also favors incest but I would guess B. and/or A. wouldn’t agree with that view.

As to the other points made by A., all I can say is the truth is out there even if you don’t like it.

The reason, if any, why A. believes this country is in a sad state is because of people like him whose death grip on privilege is causing the problems with racism or sexism or against the LGBT community we still see today.

Politically correct isn’t about keeping you from having as many wrong ideas as you want. It’s about being a civil and decent human being to other human beings and not denying them their basic worth and dignity.

People shouldn’t be punished because they aren’t a heterosexual white man with an irrational need to control women.

Doug Berger Findlay

I particularly loved the lines I highlighted above.

I did notice that the Courier dropped an important paragraph from my letter after I say the Bible never specifically outlaws abortion.

Here it is from my original version:

Besides the Holy Bible never specifically outlaws abortion. One verse even says if men fighting causes a woman to miscarry the man who caused it is only fined – if the woman dies then the man dies (eye for an eye) but if the unborn child dies then he is only fined.

It is a quote that shows my point. That’s why I wish they had included it.

I don’t plan on further letters on this issue but I will try to update this post if I get any responses – which seems likely.