Here we go again
"There you go again" was Ronald Reagan's soft-spoken reply to those who, to him, uttered outrageous statements or made baseless claims. The phrase is useful today to respond to the Tea Party serial letter writer who appears compelled to advertise his otherwise irrelevant medical education. His latest letter contains what can generously be termed suspicions about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, which are baseless. But more importantly, the writer dusts off in still another presidential election year the well-worn right-wing ploy used by Trump in 2016 and others in the past. Such being "first punch" character assassination of a political opponent by inventing charges of criminal wrongdoing and employing the infamous "big lie" strategy to constantly repeat the spurious, or debunked, claims through surrogates, social media, partisan rallies, "dark money" ads, and biased communication platforms such as Fox News. What renowned Arkansas journalist and commentator, Ernest Dumas, labels "fake scandals." It is often said that the Right needs enemies. And if such are not immediately present, it will invent them.
The first fake scandal for 2020 was invented by the now impeached president against his anticipated opponent in this fall's election. Without evidence, allegations of "corruption" by the former Vice President Biden and his son in their dealings in Ukraine were leaked, tweeted, repeated and echoed by Trump, his administration acolytes, congressional parrots and right-wing media. Respectable news agencies quickly reported the lack of support for the accusations. Undaunted; he of birther, Central Park Five and "Lock Her Up" notoriety, bombastically presses on at every opportunity. Meanwhile, Trump disciples in Congress call for investigations to distract from the matter before the Senate. And now partisans at the local level have dutifully taken up the chant.
The Tea Party writer in his last missive asks all who read and write letters to the editor several questions. One being, " ... (I)f someday it is proven that what Biden did was as awful as it appears or even worse ... " If someday it is proven? What is proven? The appearance of awfulness? Something worse than awfulness? That Biden made a statement taken out of context by those with ill intent? That Burisma was being looked at? That Hunter Biden got paid more than the writer thinks he deserved? To quote an old TV ad and another Republican president, "Where's the beef?"
Remember the yearslong Whitewater investigation? Remember "Pizza Gate"? Remember the Clinton Foundation investigation? Remember "Crooked Hillary's" private email server? Remember Benghazi? Remember the expenditure of millions of public dollars and the 11-hour interrogation of Secretary of State Clinton by Rep. Trey Goudy? All leading to nothing? To no evidence of any wrongdoing by the target? Instead, according to Ernest Dumas: " ... of Clinton or her associates going to prison ... it takes four hands to count all the Trump associates and agents already behind bars or in jeopardy, owing to investigations-conducted by Republicans no less."
The election campaign of 2020 has just begun. Beware, the fake scandal.
Hot Springs Village
Something to think about
Recent letters have questioned why the editor allows letters with false statements and ugly accusations to be printed. Remember, in America, we are blessed with possessing the "Freedom of Speech." At times I have different opinions with other's beliefs and views, but I defend the right to express our personal thoughts. I am sad seeing our freedom used to attack another human being and far more troubled when a writer takes the Bible's words out of context to support a political viewpoint.
The Bible can be easily twisted to support opinions. Verses can unintentionally be misunderstood. Even Scriptural scholars debate meanings. I use the Bible as a spiritual guide and try to follow Jesus' teachings as best I can, but I accept that some parts are not factual. Some segments actually endorse cruel and unjust behavior, some justify war, slavery and abuse. The Bible was written in a different time and culture. There are some disorders once considered a sin are now diagnosed as disease and can be treated. What was once called demon possession is now a mental illness that can be treated with medications as in schizophrenia now known as a serious disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and acts.
I believe God gave us a gift to help us understand his love and expectations of our behavior. The God-given gift is Jesus. Jesus speaks God's truth with compassion, kindness and forgiveness. Jesus was so compelling that his brief presence on earth changed the course of history giving new meaning to our lives. He demonstrates Divine love and light and teaches the way so that we can also experience a personal relationship with God. He became the motivation and foundation for the establishment of a new religion of wisdom, understanding and love which has inspired and motivated followers who now more than 2,000 years later are found in much of today's compassionate work.
I have not always been right and when proved wrong ready to acknowledge my error. Believing you are right does not always mean you are right. Now, that is something to think about.
Hot Springs Village
Editorial on 02/07/2020
Print Headline: Friday's Letters to the editor