Like so many sophists on the Too-Far Right, Ken Huber, editor of a tiny newspaper in Tawas City, Michigan, may specialize in half-truth. He titles his recent editorial “What Has America Become?” He makes it seem America has become a haven for misapplication of words and distortion of fact by misstatement. It would clearly become such a haven if left to the devices of dishonest people or otherwise good folks who lack primary commitment to truth above personal or class interest.
He uses a form of bait & switch. Baiting his trap with a bit of truth, he then springs the twist or lie. It offers readers a poison pill coated with sugar and spice. His opening paragraph is quite true. The first half of his second paragraph contains statements substantially correct yet ironically antithetical in effect. Mid-paragraph comes the first, outright falsehood: “unborn child.” This is a terminological self-contradiction. Nothing correct can be said about unborn children because they do not exist apart from misapplied metaphor. Children have already been born. Before birth they are not children but fetuses, though by third trimester they look like babies. Babies are children. Fetuses are not children. Unborn simulacra of babies are merely fetuses.
Next, in the same, second paragraph, Huber conflates communism and socialism with progressivism. Few things in speech are farther from truth. His conflation simply does away with critical thought and fine analysis. This is part of the Wingnut Toolkit. At once thereafter, he forces a false comparison between the Korean 38th Parallel and the U.S./Mexican border, implying inconsistency in our defense of the former and lack of defense on the latter. The worst lie to come in this second paragraph states “If you protest against President Obama’s policies you’re a terrorist.” If this were true, all the Republicans in Congress would be in Guantanamo or under rendition to foreign powers to be tortured and imprisoned. He couples it with our first amendment right to burn flags and effigies in protest, suggesting by juxtaposition that symbolic burning compares with terrorism.
His third paragraph matches pornography and Christmas nativity scenes, claims we now cast crime as illness and prefer using fetuses, not animals, for medical research. His fourth paragraph bares the rotten, old canard that we “take money from those who work hard for it and give it to those who don’t want to work” and claims nobody supports the Constitution farther than aids their ideology and are free to speak only what’s politically correct. Lastly, he implies that our methods of parenting and government crisis-management are incompetent, and big politicians care for little but looking good enough to get reelected.
Poor Editor Ken Huber and his readers clearly live in such a cynical swamp of sick misperception as can be generated only by the most intense misery of bad feelings. So injured are they in their ideals by the situation they see themselves in, by Obama’s election, that they would rather cast him out and leap from frying pan into fire with Romney and the worst that antisocially managed wealth can do to this country just to secure the status and further improve the holdings of the super-rich. Would they really in full awareness lift corporate fascism above democracy?
[My thanks go to Mrs. Jean Warnes of Santa Rosa, CA who forwarded the referenced editorial to me. It gives evidence of the sort of maladjusted mentality on the far right that feeds the Tea Party.]