Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

One of the most critical assets of good journalism is gathering and analyzing facts. Research, not just opinion, should go into any good article. Mr. Jones, has failed to do any such thing.

The Taxpayers' March on Washington was a peaceful gathering of a massive amount of people to protest the radical growing power of our government. Don't believe me? Mr. Jones was there. And I observed. Yes, that's my opinion. But this is a free country still. I still have the freedom to say what I want. There are a few things that Jones doesn't seem to grasp.

First of all, who in the heck besides Jones and other liberals care about how many white people were there? There could have been green and purple people there, but it wouldn't have changed the fact that they were American citizens like you and me. Sure, you say they're racists. But who reported the statistcs on the color of their skin? You did.

More people would know about the tea party, but all of the liberal networks refused to cover it.* Why is that? Heaven forbid that they should be afraid of the truth. Jones assumed that the March was instigated by people such as Glenn Beck and and Fox News. True, we do respect them and they helped a huge deal, but neither are they the faces of the conservative movment. The people you saw were there of their own free will. They were protesting not just Obama but the government, taxes, czar jobs, etc. Another point that Jones probably misunderstand is freedom. If he understood it, he wouldn't put out such blatant--and yes, lousy--lies. Examine, investigate, and research, like a journalist is supposed to do, and you will find evidence. Anyone can make things up out of thin air. But does that make it true? A little truth would do you good. Because all you need to do, Mr. Jones, is look at the facts, not the polls or the media, for answers, and you will see the truth. And sometimes the truth hurts, but so does the death of freedom.

If you care about freedom, that is. Without it, you won't even have the right to lie.

* [Editor's Note: See "Rival Networks Fire Back Over Fox News Rally Ad," September 18, The Associated Press. "Fox's taunt drew immediate reaction from the other networks, all of whom quickly offered up descriptions, transcripts of news reports and video proof of their rally coverage. Some denounced Fox for falsehoods."]

Summer Lane

Reedley , CA

Sep 20 2009 - 6:50pm

Web Letter

To those who would be taken in by the seductive rhetoric of pro-lifers, values voters, tea-baggers, angry pro-"freedom," pro-gun, anti-big-government etc. American protesters: it is important to understand these people. They are the people who are mad because they can't smoke in their cars with children or they are told not to spank other people's kids. They are afraid of the dark so they have to keep a loaded gun handy. They don't understand that toting a gun will only encourage some deranged idiot to shoot them in the back.

They have had to carry a dead fetus to term or have an extremely deformed child that will not live beyond the hospital walls. They are the great believers in the big lie that life begins at conception. When I was a young Catholic I was told that a child did not have a viable soul until it was baptized, and it had to be living.

Nothing works so well at making sure the faithful remain brain-dead as accusing any rational thought as being anti-Christ. I fail to see how a rally that attracts angry white people can represent "The American People." Dick Armey, Rush Limbaugh and Jim DeMint do have a surprisingly large group of followers, but 700,000 white people can hardly be called the "American People." To those who have a Polaroid picture of some blond, blue-eyed Jesus on the mantel, I have read the Christian Bible, the Catholic version, twice, cover to cover, and have heard the Gospels of the New Testament several thousand times in church. All the characteristics that are attributed to the anti-Christ were possessed by Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus truly was the universal man, and extremely intelligent. He said, "Gollow me--not "destroy all who try." The people you are trying to destroy are those people who are in fact on your side.

James L. Pinette

caribou, ME

Sep 20 2009 - 3:13pm

Web Letter

Who cares how many people attended the "tea-bagger" protest in DC? 100, 100,000, 1 million?

Glen Beck and company are antithetical to the America our forefathers fought for and imagined, for a single reason---they do not represent or respect the basic tenets that have made America free: "all men are created equal" and "government is elected for the people by the people.."

First of all, they have, in the name of "patriotism" and "love of country" (i.e., "the greatest" on earth"), incited masses of people to suspect that fair elections, when they do not result in the elected official one ideology deems best, are not to be respected. Elsewhere around the globe, this is known as "democratic collapse" (however ill-informed may be the people or corrupt the system in place)--and usually results in "dictatorship" (which is ultimately "accepted corruption").

When one political group or special interest attempts to discredit the legitimacy of the elected party, whether by political or personal vendetta or other propogandist means, democracy itself is what is thwarted.

It is not in any American's self-interest (black, white, blue, red, conservative or libertarian) for the "democratic experiment" to fail, whether via "infighting" or "divide and conquer" (Al Qaeda would seem to benefit from our self-implosion[s] more than anyone, including Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh). How different is this from a child dividing its parents in order to manipulate, exploit and gain control? Naturally, children do this, but they grow up. They gain wisdom via experience, and perhaps become parents themselves, only to one day look back at their judgment lapses and selfish behaviors from the perspective of adults.

So, why are these "tea-baggers" such a threat to democracy?

1. They're not organizing in the name of their own self-interests. However one breaks it down, the man or woman, white or Hispanic, 29 or 69 years of age who represents a random cross-section of the movement, cannot point to any real legislation, whether health reform proposal or "bail-out bill," that contradicts them ideologically or on a technical basis. Yet, there they are, "mad as hell!"

2. They're "mad as hell" not because the current administration represents any threat to their interests (face it--in most cases, the current administration represents a more fair representation of their interests--they will be taxed more equitably in proportion to their earnings vs. the tax schedule prior, which rewarded persons in another "class"--millionaires), but because someone "told them to be."

3.Who is this "someone?" Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity...?

4. What then is the motive---isn't there always a motive?

This is where I am stumped. I can't imagine it's just about "hatred" or getting people to vote against their own self-interest. Well, then... what is it?

Barbara Molloy-Olund

NEON, a Webzine<br />Kirkland, WA

Sep 19 2009 - 5:17am

Web Letter

I was at the march in Washington, DC, on September 12, 2009, and I can tell Mr. Jones that he must be talking about another march another place! I shot videos and photos of the event, and they clearly illustrate that there were around 1 million and a half people (if not more) present at that event! My husband and I flew from San Francisco to be there! And I have to say, it was one of the best experiences of my life! There was unity, civility and love of freedom! that permeated the whole event! I have always been proud to be an American, but that feeling doubled on that day!

You did not mentioned that we had all kind of people, blacks, whites, hispanics (I'm Cuban), Native Americans and so on. When you mentioned the entertainmenent, you failed to named a few of the black entertainers that participated in our event!

Shame on you! You and people like you are the ones that are perpetuating racial division in this country! I guess by doing so, you think it will inflate your voting take! You're exploiting the black man, not us! We marched together! it's not about color, it's about policy, it's about changing our form of governmnet! from capitalism to communism! I should know! I left communism in 1961, and will do everything I can to educate people about the lack of freedom, lack of free speack (that you bang your chest about but don't know nothing about)!

Nina Pellegrini

Montara, CA

Sep 18 2009 - 7:07pm

Web Letter

As to the size of the crowd, there are various claims that it was so big that it snarled traffic. I live about a mile from the Capitol Building and saw no problems. Pennsylvania Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue, and East Capitol Street were all moving normally.

On a related matter,the September 18 issue of the Washington Post has an ad on page A9 from Fox News. It's labeled "How did ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN miss this story?" It includes two photographs. One is an aerial view of a large demonstration that seems to have been taken from above the Canadian embassy. You can plainly see the Air & Space Museum. However, it doesn't show the Museum of the American Indian, which means it wasn't taken in 2009. Either Fox News is very careless, or it's dishonest (but you knew that).

Stefan Patejak

Washington, DC

Sep 18 2009 - 10:46am

Web Letter

I read your magazine as a research source when I was doing papers in college on the Russian revolution. It was quite helpful, but I used it in part because of its left-slanted view. The above article was intersting, but you make the mistake of generalizing all the protesters as being racist, etc. This is in part because our current president is black. Now, I am against every major policy President Obama has proposed, and I am also Hispanic. Therfore, I assume you consider me a racist, and this is the danger of your magazine's spin. I do not agree with the racist signs at the demonstrations, but they are clearly a minority and a fringe element. All sides of the political spectrum have their fringe groups. The progressives have leftist elements that are communist and I know it does not represent the mainstream Democratic Party view. So I would recommend you try to report more objectively. My final question is wether you consider your magazine/paper centrist, progressive or socialist. I hope you are honest enough to answer that question.

[Editor's Note: We consider our magazine to be "progressive."]


Miami, FL

Sep 17 2009 - 11:52am

Web Letter

I wish those tea-baggers who lined the Potomac would realize that rather than opposing the perceived tyranny of the Obama administration, they are gleefully bolstering the tyranny of a corporate plutocracy that is fighting like hell to grab as much power from our elected officials as it can. The tea-baggers think they are standing up for something, but they're nothing but sheep, shearing off their own wool in public and selling it to raise money for the mutton shop!

Robert Austin

Seminole, FL

Sep 16 2009 - 11:05pm

Web Letter

Sebastian Jones, you are dead wrong. That was not just some loony fringe, although some of the signs may have seemed loony and tasteless. Many millions more feel the same way. We are not racist lunatics. We do not like the policies that Obama is trying to cram down our throats. We do not like to see the government taking over car companies, banks, healthcare, etc. We see all of this as a big intrusion into our lives.

Steve Bradford

Tulsa, OK

Sep 16 2009 - 10:17pm

Web Letter

I was there, Mr. Wilson being the racist, homophobic, antichoice, nativist white guy that I am. Puleeze. Your spin is more loony-left dribble--laughable.

Charles Jackson

Atlanta, GA

Sep 16 2009 - 4:51pm

Web Letter

It is indeed ironic, in fact, proof of a lack of analysis and political debate on both sides of the aisle that the left views the right as a rigid monolithic bloc and the right views the left just the same. Until people realize that we do not all toe the same line even on the same side of the spectrum, we will remain a polarized nation.

John Molina

Chula Vista, CA

Sep 16 2009 - 2:35pm