…and only plunged itself into mudslinging


This is the second of two letters to the editor analyzing Sean Martin’s article “Barack’s backers are the lowest of low,” from March 26.

Sean Martin’s column didn’t have any facts…

“Godwin’s Law”, written by Mike Godwin, an Internet attorney and author, states that: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

The idea is that occasionally such comparisons to Nazis or Hitler are valid, so to preserve their impact and appropriateness, one should avoid using them.

Kudos to Sean Martin for cutting out the formalities and dropping the “H-bomb” outright [“Barack’s backers are the lowest of low,” March 26].

Perhaps now the real discussion can begin: I agree that charisma alone doth not a politician make, but let’s tone down the finger-pointing and scare tactics.

It could be that what we’ve had to work with lately in the realm of politics for years and years are people so un-charismatic and unappealing that anyone else looks like a firecracker -and a skilled public speaker must look like a holy terror (worse than Mao, or even Hitler!).

The column’s headline chosen by BG News staff is aimed at “backers” of Barack Obama. Granted, those in the column are of a higher profile than your average college student who dons an “Obama ’08” button, but the implication is that anyone who “backs” Obama is among the “lowest of the low.”

After the reader is insulted for his or her beliefs, he or she is treated to a directionless tirade full of anger and insecurity aimed at the author’s (presumably) least favorite politician, followed by an indictment of charisma and charismatic speakers who don’t follow the writer’s ideology.

The result of this team effort is a trip through a jumbled, finger-pointing mess that drags everyone who reads it through the same muck.

Were the writer a charismatic one himself, I suppose by his logic I should be worried. Were I to take the content of this author’s character as conveyed through his writing style, I would have to assume he was nothing more than a divisive, mudslinging sensationalist.

I think we can all agree that that’s quite a few rungs below most Barack supporters, and to call him such a thing I would simply be repeating the same mistake.

I’ll choose, then, to announce that I don’t think he’s the anti-Christ – I think he’s a concerned citizen who cares about who runs his country.

In light of this, I think I can perhaps redirect his sentiment in a more positive, constructive way: I would ask everyone to judge their politicians and leaders on the basis of their ideas and contributions, not solely on the fact that they are charismatic. After all, we don’t want another Hitler.

– Matthew Koogler Senior, Physical Education, Teacher Education