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Dig a little deeper 

Distrust of the media is as high as I can remember for good reason. Our national and often local press is lockstepped in ideological conformity and demands that its readers join in conformity of thought. Forsaking objectivity, the assumption of moral superiority of Democrats over Republicans on any issue is obligatory. "Everyone knows Democrats listen to the science" and "Republicans never open a book let alone read one." The facts, once explored, reveal a different world.

I've written several articles on "myths" ("Myth busting," Sept. 10, and "Myth busting II," Oct. 8), that deflate "common knowledge" at least as it's defined on the left. One issue I raised and which a respondent critiqued in a letter ("Myth busting proves a myth," Oct. 29) was who actually got the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964/1965 passed? Digging a bit deeper, you will discover that a greater percentage of Republicans supported the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts than Democrats. Using the respondent's own numbers, Democrats fell short of a majority in passing the Civil Rights Acts even though they held an overwhelming numerical advantage, holding majorities in both the House and the Senate. Commentator Ben Shapiro noted this in his broadcast, but it can be easily verified that a greater percentage of Republicans supported the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s than Democrats. Southern Democrats, historically the defenders of slavery and the architects of Jim Crow laws that kept Black Americans in virtual indentured servitude for 100 years after the Civil War, did their utmost to keep segregation alive throughout the nation. In fact, Senate Southern Democrats filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for 60 days to prevent its passage. Democrats continue to support policies that act against the best interest of Black Americans, especially in our major cities, such as "defunding the police." When polled, inner-city Black Americans living in high-crime communities support more police, not less.

As the party of Abraham Lincoln, Republican history is the history of abolition, incorporating those who for 87 years fought against the expansion of slavery in the new Republic and ultimately, fought a bloody civil war to preserve the Union and eventually to end slavery by force of arms. More Union soldiers died in this conflict than Confederate rebels, and the victory was imperfect but ultimately inspired. It was so much so that the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" was written to inspire both soldier and civilian alike that the fight to end slavery was a moral imperative required to save the Union.

In our present day, an ideologically conforming press relentlessly distorts issues and candidates into caricatures of the truth. One such caricature is that the president is a racist, citing a speech made after a race riot in which he stated "there were good people on both sides ... ." Left out was the fact that (in the same sentence) he condemned both the white supremacists and the anarchists who fomented violence, referring to the "good people" as being those with differences of opinion regarding the historical meaning that statues held for different people.

We can have differences of opinion in America without either side being disparaged as racist. Yet the media continuously ask the president and his supporters if he is willing to denounce white supremacists disregarding that during his tenure he has publicly denounced white supremacists and all racism no less than 38 times! None of that matters to a hostile press with an agenda (we hate/destroy Trump, et al). In this world, the story must promote the agenda, whether it's a discredited accusation of a Trump-Russian collusion to steal an election or disregarding a verified story of corruption by the son of Vice President Joe Biden. Despite media claims of Russian disinformation, the director of national intelligence verified that there was no intelligence indicating that the Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation. The FBI also verified that the laptop and its hard drive actually belonged to Hunter Biden. National media has buried this story, and social media platforms censor viewers from reading anything about it.

Regarding climate change, readers are endlessly barraged with stories that immediate disasters are tied to climate change, such as recent wildfires. Eminent scientists have presented volumes of evidence to the contrary to no avail. Mantras of climate disaster are endlessly repeated as fact: recent wildfires are a result of climate change. They are not. Fire ecologists, fire behavior specialists, foresters, fire historians, and atmospheric scientists, even those of NASA have debunked the idea that our current, terrible fire season was a result of climate change. Read what they've written; they will tell you that current wildfires were predicted and not a result of a miniscule elevation of temperatures.

We live in a Mediterranean climate with hot temperatures, (dry) low humidity with highly flammable vegetation piling up for decades. Fire history in America, long before anyone heard of climate change, was one of massive wildfires burning for weeks or months. Entire communities were razed, hundreds died. The difference today is that we have TV and instant social media instead of a newspaper article printed days after the event and a generation of people who think history started yesterday. Δ

Al Fonzi had a 35-year military career, serving in both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Respond with a letter to the editor emailed to letters@newtimesslo.com.

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