To the Editor: Hate-filled oratory should be denounced
Written by David Fleitz   
Saturday, 08 August 2009 08:08
Barack Obama was elected president with a better than 2 to 1 Electoral College margin over his Republican challenger. More than 53 percent of the electorate voted for the Democratic nominee, and returned solid Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.
However, it appears that some Americans refuse to accept the outcome of the 2008 election. First, the loathsome "birther" movement loudly tries to deny the election's legitimacy by claiming, with no supporting evidence whatsoever, that the President was not born in this country. Now, as the health care debate rages on, mobs of hecklers and obstructionists disrupt public meetings with chants, outbursts, and threats of violence. A Republican congressman from Missouri went so far as to joke about "lynching" his Democratic colleagues; he then illustrated his point by playfully choking himself as his audience cheered and laughed.
In the meantime, right-wing agitators wallow gleefully in hate-filled oratory. Rush Limbaugh, a veteran rabble-rouser, denounces the Democrats as "Nazis" and compares the president to Adolf Hitler; Glenn Beck, an enthusiastic "birther," jokes about poisoning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and insists that our first African-American president "hates white people"; and ex-speaker Newt Gingrich and others dismiss Sonia Sotomayor as a "racist" and worse, without a shred of evidence to back their outrageous claims.
I call on responsible Republican leaders, including Fifth District Congressman Bob Latta, to publicly condemn this growing culture of thuggery and irresponsible rhetoric. Antics such as these poison the political atmosphere and reflect the worst, not the best, of democracy in action. Such tactics have no place in American political discourse.
David Fleitz
Royal Oak, MI
(formerly of Bowling Green)

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