The River

Monday, August 02, 2004

Bruce begins his letter writing campaign

Last night, I tapped out a letter to the local newspaper editor:

Your four printed responses to “The New Faces of the Democratic Party” were interesting.

The first letter writer derides the Democrats for doing non-profit and social activist and political work. He then says this is a good example of why the Democratic party is out of touch. Calling the party that garnered more of the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election “out of touch” is pure propaganda. So too is the inference that working in politics or for non-profits doesn’t provide legitimate “real world” experience, as if the business world is the only “real” world.

Two of the letter writers published are outraged over the same thing – a single short paragraph out of all the millions of words Markos Zuniga has posted to his blog, The Daily Kos. Perhaps the readers of these letter writers would be disinclined to join them in their moral indignation, however, if the writers had provided a bit of context. Zuniga was not writing a considered piece of journalism; he was responding to a blog reader who had left a comment. What’s more, the exchange was in the “diary” section, where he and other users of the site can and do post off-the-cuff remarks. I don’t think what Zuniga wrote was worthy of praise, and I’d take issue with its casual dismissal of human life, but I do recognize that it was made in the heat of the moment by a person who has strong anti-Iraq War views. The whole incident was similar to heated or passionate conversations – familiar to many of us -- in which the participants get carried away, only to back up and admit fault. And that’s exactly what Zuniga did.

The fourth letter takes the occasion of an article on young Democrats to roll out the tired “tax and spend” canard, while ironically charging the Democrats have no new ideas.

However, there is one new idea Democrats would like to implement, should they gain presidential power – a country able to face the complexities of a global superpower without resorting to cheap moral indignation and knee-jerk denigration of at least 50 percent of the country’s citizens.

See? I do want the Democrats to regain the White House.

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