I just finished reading the letter submitted by Mike Gertler of Valencia (April 22), who admittedly tends to lean heavily Democratic, and who vented his frustration with the posting of letters from people who appear to be borderline conspiracy theorists. Although I myself do my best to refrain from leaning in any direction, I found Mr. Gertler’s statements quite refreshing, despite the fact that he tends to “lean.” I pride myself in that I did not hold it against him. I didn’t want to give him anything else to lean against.
In his letter Gertler attacks what he calls “baseless broad statements,” and I agree with Gertler. Baseless broad statements have no place in serious journalism unless they are intended for theatrical effect and emotional reaction, and yes, they can be quite divisive, but they can also get a passionate debate going, and if you’ve got lots of time to kill (and enemies to make), why not?
But while we’re on the subject of divisive rhetoric I would like to ask Mr. Gertler just what sort of people are easily divided by mere rhetoric? In my own divisive opinion I would propose that such people tend to fall into one of three categories: namely the ignorant, the simple-minded, and those who are already searching for a baton to swing at someone’s head.
Wiser, well-read folks who don’t have an ax to grind aren’t easily taken in by baseless broad statements and divisive rhetoric. They either know better or they’re busy with more productive endeavors.
Despite Mr. Gertler’s valid frustrations, I would say that he is barking up the wrong tree. Instead of going after people who write crappy letters or those who publish them, he should instead go after those who hunger for such letters and use them as ammunition in their long-established crusade against those they fear and hate,
Yes, that never-ending crusade against “them.”
It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Get rid of the demand, and the supply magically vanishes.
Good luck with that one, Mr. Gertler. You are hopelessly outnumbered.