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Letter to the Letter to the Editor

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Dear Mr. Reidy,

Rest assured, I do not regard Mr. Trump with cynicism—that would be giving him too much credit. However I do reserve a healthy dose of derision and contempt for the man.

The reason being that time after time he has shown a dangerous disregard for the truth that goes beyond the usual puffery and pandering politicians employ. Not knowing better, one would be inclined to call Mr. Trump a pathological liar. However, he is something much worst: a bullshit artist.

The distinction between the two is best explained in the book “On Bullshit,” by Harry G. Frankfurt, an emeritus philosophy professor at Princeton University.

In it he writes that in order for someone to lie, they must first think that they know the truth. For a bullshitter, there exists no such acknowledgement of the truth.

“The bullshitter does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of truth than lies are.”

Trump, so bent on bending the truth, has created a universe immune to facts. The most dangerous of Mr. Trump’s fabrications include:

-Claiming he watched thousands and thousands of people cheering in New Jersey upon the fall of the World Trade Center.

-Claiming the Mexican government sends “the bad ones” over here and in addition calling immigrants from Mexico “rapists.”

-Claiming on Twitter, “Whites killed by whites — 16%. Whites killed by blacks — 81%.”

-Claiming on Twitter that vaccines cause autism.

-Claiming that climate change is a hoax concocted by China.

All proven false.

Speaking as a journalist, it goes without saying that a person who holds such disregard for the truth is infuriating. But even more alarming is when such a person is running to be president.

At that point, the person becomes an existential threat.

It is disconcerting that at times when the press has challenged Mr. Trump’s wild assertions, he has reacted with the disposition of a despot, calling for muscle to remove dissent rather than confronting the challenge with intelligent discourse.

The nature of Trump’s most egregious distortions are aimed at stirring up racial tension, scapegoating minorities, and striking fear in the American heart.

Those familiar with history should see the parallel between the rhetoric used by Trump and that of right-wing nationalistic fascism. Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin all come to mind as leaders who also propagated fear of “the other.” It’s also the same kind of fear that led to the internment of Japanese-Americans in this country during WWII. And the kind of fear that led to the Patriot Act and the NDAA. Remember: A scared populace is a compliant one.

And you, Mr. Reidy, in your letter, sound much like the organ grinder’s monkey. You call immigrants “hordes of people who present more of a burden than an asset to society.” You assert that Muslims are “bent on killing and hurting a whole bunch of people.”

However, this fear that has led you to dehumanize whole communities is not supported in the least by facts.

Many analyses, such as one recently published by Thomas Kemeny of the University of Southampton, in the U.K., and Abigail Cooke of SUNY-Buffalo, have shown that immigrant diversity increases city productivity and overall employee wages.

Consider also that we live today in the safest period of time in recorded history. You, dear responder, are more likely to be crushed by a piece of furniture than to be killed by a terrorist.

This is not to nullify the threat of terrorism, but the fear that grips your letter is absolutely irrational and a result of media sensationalization and fear-mongering bullshitters like Mr. Trump. He himself is a terrorist using the platform created by the presidential race as a weapon of mass distortion.

You are correct in saying the nation faces many pressing issues. One of which certainly is the need for immigration reform. But Mr. Trump only adds noise and misinformation to political discourse instead of constructive ideas. Building a “great, great wall,” “banning” Muslims from entering the country, and deporting every illegal immigrant are not only futile but the parlance of a petulant child.

In “An endorsement for the orange-ification of America” a satirical piece I wrote, which you refer to in your letter, you jump to the conclusion that I was making “a blatant swipe against white people” with the line “He will make America white…err, great, again.”

This was a misinterpretation on your part. What I was actually ridiculing was the seemingly meaningless platitude “Make America great again” branded by Mr. Trump. When coupled with the many racists and xenophobic remarks Mr. Trump has made, his tagline can be surmised to be dog-whistle political speak directed at bigots.

And finally, shame on you, Mr. Reidy, for spewing such hate in response to a piece of political satire.

Kevin Flores

Special Projects Editor

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