The un-civil war
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