Reader Letters

Super-Sized Conservative Media

The other day I snapped. I had received a forwarded email that began: ‘Facts About Social Security. Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, …’

I should have hit the ‘delete’ button right then. Any letter that [felt it needed to identify] FDR as a Democrat was either written for fools or extremely partisan, and probably both. But I read on, through a litany of charges against Lyndon Johnson, Al Gore, and Jimmy Carter for their respective roles in making changes to the Social Security system. The article concluded: ‘Then, after doing all this lying and thieving…the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away! And the worst part about it is, uninformed citizens believe it!’

I think it was the ‘lying and thieving’ part combined with the call to action that made me envision Gaston rounding up the lynch mob in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Like any good modern-day Belle, I hit the ‘reply to all’ button, and asked not to be included in any mailing list passing around Ann Coulterish tripe or any other information taken out of history and context. I may have also called them all cheap, whiney babies. I am pretty sure I used the word ‘pit bull’ in there, too.

I have been second-guessing my click on the ‘send’ button ever since. It feels like I sunk a level or two, offering at best the political debate equivalent of a child’s ‘I am not!’ Oliver Griswold’s piece, ‘Reading with the Enemy,’ has, for reasons I am never going to explore, made me feel much better. It has also served as a solid introduction to your publication. Thank him, and thank you.

Catherine Berlin
Buffalo, N.Y.

Catherine: Wow, a conservative spammer defending Social Security! (In a manner.) Oliver will be glad to hear his experiment was as comforting to you as it was to him.
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