Letters to the Editor

Once again what should be a morning of rest and enjoyment with my family is instead an onslaught of hate and violence as not one but two mass shootings dominate the news. And as I sit in anguish at what has become of our nation and society, I am reminded of the term “useful idiots.” Often attributed to Lenin it is instead a term that arose during the Cold War to describe persons who bought blindly into communist propaganda.

While I await the all too predictable finger pointing and accusations, the laying of blame, the scoring of political points, these most recent events will surely generate, I must sadly come to the conclusion that it is all of us who are to blame. We are to blame because we have become a nation of “useful idiots,” eagerly lapping up the opinions of the propagandists that most closely align with out own biases and beliefs. It doesn’t matter if you are left or right, Democrat or Republican; both sides have wholly embraced division and hatred as their siren song. Why must we hate those with whom we disagree? What ever happened to civility, respect and the ability to discuss without resorting to the spewing of bile and violence?

We are all guilty of buying the lies of the politicians and press on both sides. We must reject all of it and demand representation from persons who seek to mend and heal, not divide and conquer.

I don’t think unfettered immigration at our borders is a sane policy and I firmly belief without border enforcement we cease to exist as a nation. But I don’t hold any animus toward a poor mother or father in a country south of our border wanting to provide a better life for their children. As a parent, I ask myself what I would do in their place. But the politicians on both sides use them as pawns; “hate my opponent because they won’t enforce the border.” “Hate my opponent because they favor immigrants over you!”

Why can’t we understand the immigrants, the “others,” anyone who doesn’t share our opinions aren’t the enemy? The politicians who seek to divide us while doing nothing to fix our education system, our infrastructure, our rigged economic system are the enemy. We need to reject them all and demand leaders who put common good before raw pursuit of power. I for one henceforth refuse to hate on their behalf.

Jeff Klein