The real enemies within

While the flood of hatred toward the President and his policies has become a trickle compared to 2010, the Sunday edition of The News and Sentinel usually contains at least one or two letters, long on rhetoric and short on facts, suggesting imminent doom is at hand if Mr. Obama is allowed to remain in office. A June 8 letter from Mark Hartshorn of Marietta, “America’s enemies within,” provides a typical example.

The writer says “our most basic rights are being eroded, and very few people seem to care.” He cites the “harassment of conservative groups by the IRS,” even though there is ample evidence that groups on both ends of the political spectrum were audited, and that some warranted it by falsely claiming to be “charitable” or “educational” when in fact they were engaged in blatant political activities. Hartshorn says that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is sponsoring a bill “to limit free speech.” This foolishness is believable only if one subscribes to the Mitt Romney notion that “corporations are people” and that lobbyists working for wealthy companies should be allowed to donate unlimited amounts of money to buy attack ads and influence elections.

The writer adds – without offering a shred of evidence – that the Obama administration is causing a “breakdown in the morals of our society” by “limiting freedom of religion” and “curbing gun-owner rights.” The last time I noticed, persons with strong religious views have encountered practically no opposition in their ongoing efforts to insert their (often biased and sectarian) beliefs into practically every public occasion. And exactly what Second Amendment “rights” are being “taken away?” Certainly not those of a local Ku Klux Klan group that toted assault weapons, burnt crosses, issued hate-speeches, and cavorted for the camera in Mountwood Park on April 26 within sight of Wood County law-enforcement officials.

The gripes of Mr. Hartshorn are perfect examples of what psychologists call “projection.” While Fox-fixated zealots claim their rights are being “eroded,” reality suggests otherwise – as we can see by observing right-wing Republican attempts to block voter access to the polls, buy up local media in efforts to censor opposition opinions, and the belief spread by some ardent tea-partiers that democracy “has no place” in an American “republic.” If these folks want to see “America’s enemies within,” they need go no further than their nearest mirror!

Fred O’Neill

Marietta

The real enemies within

While the flood of hatred toward the President and his policies has become a trickle compared to 2010, the Sunday edition of The News and Sentinel usually contains at least one or two letters, long on rhetoric and short on facts, suggesting imminent doom is at hand if Mr. Obama is allowed to remain in office. A June 8 letter from Mark Hartshorn of Marietta, “America’s enemies within,” provides a typical example.

The writer says “our most basic rights are being eroded, and very few people seem to care.” He cites the “harassment of conservative groups by the IRS,” even though there is ample evidence that groups on both ends of the political spectrum were audited, and that some warranted it by falsely claiming to be “charitable” or “educational” when in fact they were engaged in blatant political activities. Hartshorn says that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is sponsoring a bill “to limit free speech.” This foolishness is believable only if one subscribes to the Mitt Romney notion that “corporations are people” and that lobbyists working for wealthy companies should be allowed to donate unlimited amounts of money to buy attack ads and influence elections.

The writer adds – without offering a shred of evidence – that the Obama administration is causing a “breakdown in the morals of our society” by “limiting freedom of religion” and “curbing gun-owner rights.” The last time I noticed, persons with strong religious views have encountered practically no opposition in their ongoing efforts to insert their (often biased and sectarian) beliefs into practically every public occasion. And exactly what Second Amendment “rights” are being “taken away?” Certainly not those of a local Ku Klux Klan group that toted assault weapons, burnt crosses, issued hate-speeches, and cavorted for the camera in Mountwood Park on April 26 within sight of Wood County law-enforcement officials.

The gripes of Mr. Hartshorn are perfect examples of what psychologists call “projection.” While Fox-fixated zealots claim their rights are being “eroded,” reality suggests otherwise – as we can see by observing right-wing Republican attempts to block voter access to the polls, buy up local media in efforts to censor opposition opinions, and the belief spread by some ardent tea-partiers that democracy “has no place” in an American “republic.” If these folks want to see “America’s enemies within,” they need go no further than their nearest mirror!

Fred O’Neill

Marietta

The real enemies within

While the flood of hatred toward the President and his policies has become a trickle compared to 2010, the Sunday edition of The News and Sentinel usually contains at least one or two letters, long on rhetoric and short on facts, suggesting imminent doom is at hand if Mr. Obama is allowed to remain in office. A June 8 letter from Mark Hartshorn of Marietta, “America’s enemies within,” provides a typical example.

The writer says “our most basic rights are being eroded, and very few people seem to care.” He cites the “harassment of conservative groups by the IRS,” even though there is ample evidence that groups on both ends of the political spectrum were audited, and that some warranted it by falsely claiming to be “charitable” or “educational” when in fact they were engaged in blatant political activities. Hartshorn says that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is sponsoring a bill “to limit free speech.” This foolishness is believable only if one subscribes to the Mitt Romney notion that “corporations are people” and that lobbyists working for wealthy companies should be allowed to donate unlimited amounts of money to buy attack ads and influence elections.

The writer adds – without offering a shred of evidence – that the Obama administration is causing a “breakdown in the morals of our society” by “limiting freedom of religion” and “curbing gun-owner rights.” The last time I noticed, persons with strong religious views have encountered practically no opposition in their ongoing efforts to insert their (often biased and sectarian) beliefs into practically every public occasion. And exactly what Second Amendment “rights” are being “taken away?” Certainly not those of a local Ku Klux Klan group that toted assault weapons, burnt crosses, issued hate-speeches, and cavorted for the camera in Mountwood Park on April 26 within sight of Wood County law-enforcement officials.

The gripes of Mr. Hartshorn are perfect examples of what psychologists call “projection.” While Fox-fixated zealots claim their rights are being “eroded,” reality suggests otherwise – as we can see by observing right-wing Republican attempts to block voter access to the polls, buy up local media in efforts to censor opposition opinions, and the belief spread by some ardent tea-partiers that democracy “has no place” in an American “republic.” If these folks want to see “America’s enemies within,” they need go no further than their nearest mirror!

Fred O’Neill

Marietta