Fairness in politics

Dear Editor:Whenever I get the chance, I sit and read The Downey Patriot on Sunday nights, usually while sipping on some tea. I nearly spit it out last night while reading Elsa Van Leuven's letter to the editor titled "Obama's Plan" (4/19/12). The cascade of canned right-wing talking points suggests that she has not had an original thought of her own since Sean Hannity first signed on the air. I usually just laugh off the rhetoric, reminding myself how most righties will be fuming on election night when President Obama is re-elected. But not this time. I can't quietly sit sipping tea while demonstrably false rhetoric is being posted, designed to mislead people into voting against their own interests while blithely repeating capitalist dictum like a deranged parrot. The thought that President Obama is deliberately planning to "take down" the U.S. is not just wrong, but betrays a fundamental misunderstanidng of what and who the country is. The people of this country have experienced 24 consecutive months of job growth. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a stimulus package) added 2.1 million jobs in the first year alone; had the stimulus package not happened, there would be a lot more people on welfare than there are now. This administration bailed out GM, which again ranks as the top car company in the world. The President signed the Making Homes Affordable Act and later expanded on it with the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act. The list of the President's accomplishments is extensive but no matter what undertakings I cite, those who compose the catchphrases in Ms. Van Leuven's prose have already dismissed them as either examples of inaction, of foreign-inspired hostility or (in typical self-contradictory fashion) both. The best talking point with which I can counter this is the vice president's simple observation that GM is alive and Bin Laden is dead. To label the enfranchisement of millions of Americans whose voices have never been heard before, and the re-enfranchisement of a beset middle class as "a plan to take down the U.S." is simply the worst kind of anti-American claptrap and it needs to be identified as such. I'm an American who believes everyone should have a voice and I'm happy to have a healthy political conversation with anyone. However, when opinions, not facts, are repeated verbatim without any sense of rationale or evidence, then I simply have no choice but to demonstrate what facts vs. opinions are for those who can't create an original thought in their minds. Listen to the facts and make up your own mind. Whether you agree with me or not, I'll respect you if you come up with your own conclusion based on the facts. Francisco Pelayo, Downey

********** Published: April 26, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 02