Thursday, January 7, 2010

My letter to USA Today

Here's the text of a letter to the editor that I sent today. It was in response to their editorial in yesterday's edition and its published response from Newt Gingrich--

In his Opposing View on the subject of whether partisanship in public debate is getting out of hand, former House Speaker and current senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Newt Gingrich, states that "when something threatens the life of the country, it would be suicidal not to speak up." He adds, "If we do not recognize we are at war [on terror] and behave effectively against enemies who want to kill us, we are going to lose a lot of American lives. Warning that change is needed to save American lives and secure America from enemies is not partisanship. It is citizenship at its most profound."

For most of my sixty-three years, it has been standard practice to protest against the waging of wars considered to be immoral in their very conception. At the same time, it was considered impolitic, if not treasonous, to directly criticize our Commander-in-Chief, not for the immorality of the cause to which he committed our fighting forces, but for an imagined lack of care for the safety of Americans in how he waged it. Surely, there is no valid argument that President Obama has been "ineffective" in his efforts to defend the people of the United States from terrorism, especially in contrast to the previous administration, whose incomprehensible attempt to rout phantom terrorists from Iraq resulted in the introduction of Al Queda to that country. To imply otherwise is to give aid and comfort to an enemy that has not a single moral leg to stand on. That is not citizenship, profound or otherwise; it is dangerously partisan demagoguery.

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