Respect different viewpoints
May I address assertions made in four letters to the editor on Dec. 16? All four correspondents expressed support for Trump, and three excoriated the news media. The first writer cited Goebbels and the Nazi propaganda machine as a prototype of mainstream news media’s coverage of our current political morass. I would agree that there is a fascist/Nazi overlay to the current political conversation, but that viewpoint is expressed by Trump and his minions, not by the mainstream media. Trump’s racism, his misogyny, his xenophobia, all are evidence of fascism/Nazism. He has never disavowed the support of the Nazis in our country. Trump’s clear disdain for the legislative process and for judicial oversight is fascistic. He evinces great admiration for strongmen and tyrants, as evidenced in his admiration of Putin.
The second letter writer cited what he deemed to be misinformation about Rosa Parks and about the Black Lives Matter movement. His argument was so unclear as to be unanswerable. I adjudge that he was incensed by Leonard Pitts’ column regarding these issues. I think that there is no argument but that Parks acted bravely and that her acts helped the civil rights movement to make progress. I think that there is no argument but that black people are sometimes treated differently than whites in encounters with law enforcement.
The third letter writer asserted that for 3,000 years “no nation, state, power or even individuals survive when they oppose Israel in (the land).” I would ask that the writer back up that assertion with historical facts, for I am ignorant of any such evidence in the historical record.
The fourth letter writer took umbrage at USA Today’s uncomplimentary comparison of Donald Trump to Barack Obama and George W. Bush. (Incidentally, the writer misquoted that comparison). Both Obama and Bush have shown themselves to be men of probity in their personal lives, and Obama is a person of great intellectual accomplishment. If Trump appears lilliputian in comparison to his predecessors, the fault lies in Trump’s character, not in the colorful and quite accurate characterization of the newspaper.
Finally, the fourth writer continued the excoriation of journalists and the news media. In the 21st century, we have a plethora of news sources. One is not compelled to take any one account of events or policies, for there are multiple accounts of any event or government action. If we access only those news sources that speak to our biases, then we have only a truncated viewpoint of current events. While we all bring to the table our own prejudices, we should each cultivate a respect for our divergent cultural and political perspectives. It is not helpful to democracy to attempt to silence those with whom we disagree. We have poured out blood and treasure to defend the right of free speech. We must not let ourselves be caught in the toils of a suppressive fascist mindset that would silence opposition.
MOLLIE NEWMAN PARSLEY/Lubbock