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This is why Fonzi is wrong


I am surprised that New Times continues to lend its megaphone to Al Fonzi who features hyperbolic gross generalizations in his diatribes. Let's unpack a few of his latest rants ("Stoking the fires of division," Aug. 15).

He says that "leftists" despise anyone with deeply held religious views. Not so. No one seeks to prevent anyone from holding whatever religious views they want, nor despises them for doing so. But what the evangelical right wants is to impose its views and practices on everyone else by, among other things, undermining public accommodation law and allowing establishments to discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, and the like.

Fonzi also claims that the left wants to undermine the First Amendment and disarm the American public by repealing the Second Amendment. In fact, as to the First Amendment, it is President Donald Trump who continually floats proposed restrictions on the press, demonizes reporters, and yanks press credentials without any legal basis to do so. He is the one undermining the First Amendment. As for the Second Amendment, Fonzi and his ilk misread it. The Supreme Court has not said the Second Amendment is a mandate authorizing unlimited weaponry, and no one is suggesting the American public be disarmed. But it is a far cry from hunting to allowing weapons of war. Republican legislatures across the country and the Republican Senate, to be sure, have been cowed by the National Rifle Association, but the vast majority of the American public supports reasonable restrictions on the types of guns permitted (no assault rifles) and where they can be carried.

As a final example, Fonzi says that the left wants to "impose a socialist dictatorship upon the nation, destroy our free market economy, and impose draconian reductions on the middle class." This is made-up nonsense. The left wants more democracy, not less. It is Republicans who suppress the vote, not Democrats. And if Fonzi thinks reasonable regulation to rein in out-of-control income inequality amounts to war on the middle class, then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell him. I could go on, but I think these are examples enough.

But let's not lose sight of the larger point. Rants like Fonzi's are not constructive; they are propaganda in the extreme. He does not deserve a voice in your newspaper. If you want to include conservative voices, pick someone who is civil and constructive instead.

Rick Derevan


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