Letter: Reader takes issue with ‘Polarization’ column

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I have never before written a letter to the editor. However I must take exception to Professor Marty Rochester’s Sept. 25 column “Who is to blame for polarization in America?” which is a whitewash of Republican responsibility for the situation we currently find ourselves in.

Joe McCarthy was a Republican. Spiro T. Agnew, who lowered the quality of discourse greatly, was also a Republican. 

Republicans then invented their divisive Southern Strategy, the Silent Majority and the Moral Majority as though those who disagreed with them were immoral. 

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They invented “America love it or leave it” and many other simplistic dog whistle phrases.

To say that there is blame on both sides is not only false equivalency, but is analogous to our president saying that there were “good people on both sides” after the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

While it is true that all politicians can be obnoxious and strident, especially if you happen to disagree with them, Democrats do not engage in the kind of name calling and ad hominem attacks the way the GOP does regularly. 

And we haven’t even discussed Rush Limbaugh, who has single handedly done more to murder civil discourse in this country than anyone in the world. And all his wannabees like Steve Bannon, Breitbart, etc.

The Republicans have had a well-oiled and well-financed propaganda machine since the days of Red baiting and painting labor unions with a pink paintbrush. The Democrats could learn a lot from them, though it would be moral turpitude to imitate them.

I would hope a Curator’s Professor at the University of Missouri was more discerning than that.

Gene Goldsand, Creve Coeur