Recently Thomas Oatway penned a rebuke (May 31) to a letter I submitted where I quoted Mr. Oatway and spoke about his typical overheated commentary. Mr. Oatway claims his original letter of April 4 irritated and irked me.
In his letter of April 4, Mr. Oatway said, “It is obvious that one political party is busy practicing the fascist-autocratic playbook.” There was no qualification in his statement. Later in the same letter Mr. Oatway said, “Wake up, people. Your freedoms are under attack. We have to rid ourselves of this menace.” Again, there was no qualification and he was clearly speaking of Trump voters and the need to “get rid” of us.
After I challenged him on his inflammatory and absurd rhetoric in a letter dated April 13, Mr. Oatway felt the need to clarify his position in a letter dated May 31 by stating: “He, (Richards), knows well that I was referring to the menace of fascism, white nationalism, antisemitism, church control of government/judiciary, conspiracy theorists and the MAGA Republican cult.” I wonder if Mr. Oatway realizes that wasn’t a clarification of his April 4 comments, but that it was confirmation of them! He has a problem with conspiracy theorists and others but it was people like Mr. Oatway who told us COVID came from the wild and that the vaccine prevented infection and transmission. People like Mr. Oatway complained for over four years that President Donald Trump wasn’t the legitimate president, but he wants to get rid conspiracy theorists among Republicans. He is apparently immune to the Democrat Party’s own cultish behavior. Tell us, Mr. Oatway, what would “getting rid” of us look like to you? Banishment? Prison? Death?
Despite your claim that I knew what you were talking about, I used your own words to discern your meaning and intent. I didn’t know you were only speaking of the menace of fascism, white nationalism, antisemitism, church control of government/judiciary, conspiracy theorists, and the MAGA Republican cult because you did not mention those laughable portrayals in your original letter. You spoke of “one political party,” Republicans! I believe I know many things, but I don’t pretend to know the hidden meaning of your words and thoughts. Some things are unknowable. Your cleanup of your April 4 letter in fact cements my view that you are speaking of all Republicans. I do thank you for at least making an attempt to sanitize your hyperbole. This means you are reading my letters and you felt your words required clarification, although you arguably failed.
Far from being irritated, I’m actually quite pleased that my letter caused your reaction. It certainly wasn’t an efficient response, but you take what you can get these days.