The un-civil war

The Weekly Vista - - Opinion -

I’m go­ing to pref­ace this let­ter by say­ing that I’m just a bloke in this com­mu­nity. I don’t get to write a weekly col­umn; I have to con­form to this news­pa­per’s lim­its on pub­lic com­men­tary. I also ex­pect that I’m ex­press­ing a mi­nor­ity opin­ion, and I’m all right with that.

In his Oc­to­ber 24 col­umn, Ron Wood decries that lack of ci­vil­ity in our cur­rent po­lit­i­cal dis­course. How­ever, I won­der if he has taken any time to con­sider his own con­tri­bu­tion to this so­cial con­di­tion. His own col­umns are fre­quently laced with ad hominem at­tacks on those who would chal­lenge his opin­ions (Lib­er­als: they’ve lost their minds.) This is an un­der­handed, but ef­fec­tive, tech­nique of poi­son­ing the well: at­tack your op­po­nents’ in­tel­li­gence, moral­ity or san­ity be­fore they can re­spond. He openly em­braces a POTUS who made a lack of ci­vil­ity a suc­cess­ful cam­paign tech­nique. Trump should have been rel­e­gated to the waste­bin of ob­scu­rity dur­ing the pri­maries im­me­di­ately after his mock­ing of a re­porter with a dis­abling con­di­tion. In­stead of call­ing him out, the Evan­gel­i­cal Right, along with Mr. Wood, pro­claimed him their new Mes­siah. When the mid­dle-school play­ground bully in the WH nom­i­nated the bra-snap­ping frat boy to SCOTUS, Mr. Wood en­gaged in the same vic­tim-blam­ing that char­ac­ter­izes al­most ev­ery RW pun­dit. They could have sug­gested with­drawal of this tainted can­di­date in fa­vor of an­other con­ser­va­tive voice with a less ques­tion­able past. In­stead, the ex­pe­di­ency of beat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of a mid-term turnover of Congress out­weighed any con­sid­er­a­tion of ques­tion­able be­hav­ior. The Party of Je­sus ex­posed it­self as the Party of Machi­avelli and Mr. Wood helped pass out the Kool-Aid.

Yes­ter­day, Oc­to­ber 24, The news was full of sto­ries of pipe bombs ap­pear­ing in the mail­boxes of promi­nent Democrats, in­clud­ing Barack Obama and the Clin­tons. I ex­pect the Right-Wing apol­o­gists to ei­ther speak in sup­port of the at­tempted bomber, en­gage in the common whataboutism of those who can’t de­fend their own be­hav­ior, or wash their hands of re­spon­si­bil­ity for their own con­tri­bu­tion to the mind­set that made as­sas­si­na­tion an ac­cept­able po­lit­i­cal ploy. Th­ese are the typ­i­cal tac­tics of the bully. You, Mr. Wood, are a bully, and the Weekly Vista has pro­vided you with a bully pul­pit. If you are the Chris­tian you profess to be, be­fore writ­ing an­other di­a­tribe on the sins of pro­gres­sive thinkers, I sug­gest you reread the red words of your Bi­ble, par­tic­u­larly Je­sus’ ad­mo­ni­tion to re­move the log from your own eye be­fore re­mov­ing the speck from an­other’s. Bill Hesse Choir Direc­tor, First Pres­by­te­rian Church, Rogers Mu­sic In­struc­tor, Trike The­atre for Youth

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