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With all due respect

The political disintegration this country is experiencing has everything to do with its president



Since the election of Donald Trump, local citizen Al Fonzi has written opinions that have included the following assertions: Trump "will be a somewhat conventional president," Mike Flynn "will serve the nation well," liberals are unpatriotic, the explanation for Trump's personality is because he is from New York, climate change does not exist, and the "alt-right" is made up of nothing more than just "ones with different opinions."

Meanwhile, to the bewilderment of many, he has not addressed any of the multitude of issues related to this administration: Russia's interference with our election, the campaign's involvement and Trump's admiration for Putin, poll results (conducted by The Economist and YouGov) from December 2016 that found that 37 percent of Republicans viewed Putin favorably, the attack on our news organizations, the rise of white supremacy and hate crimes, the intrusion of fundamentalist Christianity upon our government, the condition of our state department, the escalating threat of the U.S. entering nuclear wars, the lack of respect for environmental issues, the extreme waste of taxpayers' money, the disregard for our democracy's checks and balances, etc., etc., etc.

Now there is his latest opinion piece ("Delusional apologists for leftist violence," Oct. 12). First he addresses the Las Vegas shootings and writes that he has nothing to say about what happened "until the investigations are complete." Really! Nothing to say? What more is he waiting for? And why is he "waiting until the dead are buried"? What does this have to do with trying to prevent something like this from happening again?

Then he says he is "alarmed at the disintegration of American political culture" without mentioning the election of Trump as president. With convoluted logic, he wants readers to believe that the anti-fascists in Germany became the Nazi Party. He then says the Antifa in the U.S. emerged from a campus environment. According to Wikipedia, the anti-fascists movement first started in the 1920s to fight against Mussolini's black shirts and Hitler's brown shirts. The movement first emerged in our country in the 1980s to fight against pro-Nazi organizations. They have appeared on our college campuses recently as a result of speakers like Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Richard Spencer showing up.

The Antifa are not "highly organized" as Al Fonzi suggests. According to Wikipedia, "They focus on fighting far-right white supremist's ideologies directly, rather than on encouraging pro-left policy." A different, non-violent, anti-fascists group in the U.S., Refuse Fascism, founded in December of 2016, released a statement in September of 2017 that said attacks on Antifa are "designed to intimidate, suppress, and divide all opposition to fascism." And lastly, Fonzi writes, "If not forcefully repudiated by all good Americans of all political persuasions, the havoc they unleash may well rend asunder the fabric of American liberty." Isn't he confusing Antifa with the Trump administration?

I do not agree with Robert Cuddy's assessment that Antifa is a branch of the "alt-right" ("A theory about violent protesters," Oct. 5). I don't always agree with Antifa's means or their ends; I think this conclusion is an insult to members of Antifa. But when I read Al Fonzi's words that he believes Robert Cuddy is asleep or delusional, it quickly brings to mind the biblical verse: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" With all due respect, it's more like a pallet. Δ

Kathy Riedmann is a proud, socially liberal Democrat. Send comments toclanham@newtimesslo.comor be proud enough to have your own opinions published by sending them toletters@newtimesslo.com.

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