In reading the article "White Rabbits" by Chris Davis (April 23rd issue), I noticed a little confusion on his part as to why I and thousands of others in Memphis took to the streets last week. I would first like to apologize to him for the angry woman who accosted him. As an American citizen, I grant you the same respect that we should grant any other citizen, but as a conservative I can empathize with her lack of respect for the media. We have been vilified by mainstream media for our beliefs, and it's frustrating.
It's mostly frustrating because the media take national talking points and run them as truths. The 95 percent of Americans you say got a tax cut, for instance, is flat-out not true, but it sounds good and nobody wants to report otherwise. You wonder why there were cheers and chants of "radical" in the crowd. We were branded that label by the Department of Homeland Security just days before the rally.
Government spending in this country is out of control. It is not just this administration but administrations going all the way back to the New Deal. This is why we showed up. I do agree with Davis on the bullet-riddled Obama sign. That was wrong. I should have given him mine. It read, "Spread my work ethic ... Not my wealth."
The Vast Wasteland
In Chris Herrington's incisive review of the famous William F. Buckley-Gore Vidal debates ("Blast from the Past," April 16th issue), he bemoans the fact that there are no more public intellectuals on television these days.
While it is true that political commentary and debates today are more or less shouting matches designed to keep television viewers from being bored, one commentator today stands head and shoulders above the fray with his intelligence, core values, and bedrock social and political philosophy.
Keith Olbermann's Countdown and his trenchant "special comments" elevate the news political commentary with style, wit, and courage. Unlike his nemesis, Bill O'Reilly, who panders to his audience with bogus populist appeals and histrionic outrage, Olbermann respects his audience and is never condescending or patronizing.
Forty-five years ago, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission famously declared that television was a "vast wasteland," and yet the erudition and intellect of Buckley and Vidal were on the air for all to savor. Today, we have an even bigger wasteland to wade through, but Olbermann stands out as a man who takes on the issues of our time with the dignity and courage inherent in speaking one's mind and acting on one's conscience.
In the Rant (April 23rd issue), Randy Haspel cites Karl Rove's abhorrent political philosophy as being pro-business, anti-tax, demonstrably Christian, and having good hair. I can only conclude that progressives are anti-business, welcome tax increases, are atheists, and bald.
Guess it takes all kinds to make the world go round.
In his column (April 16th issue), Bruce VanWyngarden wrote: "Let's tear down all the old crap and start planting fruit trees and gardens. See ya, Sterick Building. Hello, downtown orchard."
I started to sing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," because a long time ago — in the 1790s — three families owned farms along the Fourth Chickasaw Bluff and planted a "downtown" orchard. All of the fruit is long gone, but Court Square remains only because one of the owners decided not to fell its trees.
With Mayor Herenton's vision of the regentrification of Memphis, we can only imagine the Whitehaven, Frayser, and Hickory Hill of tomorrow.
Republicans and conservatives can't stand it that President Obama and the majority of the American people are chanting, "Let the good times roll again."
They're happy that Iraq is fading from page one. They are realizing that GOP "tax cuts for the rich" will go down as one of the biggest boondoggles of all time. (What America got was a recession, record deficits, and a sagging economy.) They see that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are taking on the likeness of Joseph McCarthy.
Hopefully, in 2012, Americans will still remember what Bush and the Republicans put them through for eight years.
Nevada City, California