Chauvinism and DoubleThink

To the Editor:
It is hard to imagine a more bumbling exhibition of male chauvinism than that of the Kavanaugh Judiciary Committee hearings. The level of discomfort of the candidate and the Republican members at being confronted with the female gestalt belongs more on the psychiatrist’s couch than under full public scrutiny. None the less, Kavanaugh’s display of privileged, All-American, sports-loving, beer-guzzling, combative prolonged adolescence seems not to have deterred their support for seating him on the Supreme Court. In deflecting criticism to Democrats rather than at Dr. Ford, they do recognize they are playing with fire in regards to women voters, but that they found, despite Kavanaugh’s frequently less than forthcoming answers, both testimonies “credible” indicates how deeply embedded DoubleThink, the ability to simultaneously believe two utterly contradictory “facts”, has become in American politics. Truthfulness no longer seems to hold great value, and here Donald Trump is the master of creating and manipulating the ensuing confusion in people’s minds. That the Republican Party has gone “all in” on this strategy of assuming power is disappointing in its disregard of honor once having been a Conservative value.

-RP

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The Politics of Race

To the Editor:
It is becoming clear that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are continuing to count on the White backlash to the Obama years to ensure their political majority in 2018 and 2020, that and gerrymandering and voter suppression   Mike Pence’s media stunt of abruptly leaving the Indianapolis Colts game could have not been more blatant to that end, and the NFL  seems now so afraid of losing its fan base that it has joined in on the platform.  One has to wonder how Black athletes feel about being thrown under the bus and how might they react.  Steve Bannon may no longer have a position in the White House, but he is still dominating both the political narrative and the Republican agenda.

Robert Porath

Human Sparked Climate Change

To the Editor:

The frustrating aspect of the denial of human sparked climate change is that it chooses to ignore the basic chemistry of oxidation, particularly that of the combustion of fossil fuels.  The carbon, hydrogen, and energy present in oil, natural gas, and coal have lain dormant in the earth for millions of years.  When burned, these element combine with oxygen and release levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water vapor, and heat (plus various other chemical compounds) that are now active in the atmosphere.  Climate science is the attempt to understand what this means for the future of every living thing on the planet.  This part is not simple science.  It is globally complex.  Climate scientists have been threatened with losing funding for their research by pro-industry Republicans since the Bush Administration and are wary, with reason, of speaking out forcefully, but to set this exploration aside is not only short-sighted, it is dangerous.

Robert Porath

Discourse

To the Editor:

On the surface, much of today’s divided political argument boils down to a disagreement over a preferred order of virtues. Should frugality and self-reliance or generosity and community be first in people’s hearts? All in all a sort of a silly question, but virtues carried to extremes do become vices and, with our penchant for projecting negativity onto “others”, the argument becomes pig-headed selfishness versus enabling airheadedness and everyone ends up yelling at one another. Perhaps better discourse would result if both sides were to admit both the positive and the negative we all have within ourselves and work then for the good of all, but isn’t it really about our confused and convoluted relationship with the concept of having power?

RP

From the cabin in Meredith, CO