It’s always a good idea to let people have their say. That way you can tell just how wrong their ideas really sound.
One of my frequent, ah, fans who doesn’t seem to mind playing fast and loose with the facts was at it again in a letter to the editor published Oct. 23. Normally, his confused ideas simply bemuse me — similar to my occasional chance encounter with professional wrestling.
This time it was different, because it wasn’t only my dollops of wisdom he mangled in his anger with the 21st century. He maligned the vast majority of Americans.
In my Oct. 12 column, I presented the results of numerous respected surveys describing how large majorities of Americans — from 65 to 80 percent — are now supporting traditionally progressive ideas. These include universal background checks to purchase guns, a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants and higher taxes on the wealthy. And smaller majorities — 54 to 58 percent — now approve of legalized abortion in most cases, gay marriage and legalized marijuana.
Here’s a portion of his response: “Are these the same people who have 70 percent of the children born out of wedlock, the ones who bully each other into committing suicide, or the ones who don’t know Montana is a state and not a province of Canada? ... Is this the majority that still lives at home with their parents because video games, smoking pot, pants on the ground, texting and Facebook are a priority?”
In other words he’s implying anyone who agrees with the conclusions of the surveys — again, 54 to 80 percent of Americans — must be contemptible, stupid or drugged-out slackers. And since those reviled sex-peddling, God-hating, baby-killing, homosexual-loving, Second Amendment-bashing liberals he hates so much comprise only about 20 percent of the population, he must also be including many of you upstanding independents and common sense conservatives.
Dealing with people like this is like stepping through the looking glass. The Wonderland natives make sense to one another but not to anyone just arriving from Earth.
Fifty-four to 80 percent. These people are the modern majority from whom the ideologues want to “take back America.” Hey! It ain’t theirs to take back.
You may draw a different set of conclusions than do I from the same set of facts, and that’s fine. That leads to debate, which leads to negotiations and compromise that have been the bulwark of American democracy for more than 200 years. But you don’t get to manufacture your own facts.
People need to be called out for fostering lies, delusions, simpleminded willfulness and despicable contempt of their fellow Americans so the real conversation can get started.
Marty Moore is a freelance writer living in Port Richey.