Letter to the Editor

November 18, 2004

I just typed off this letter to the editor of Dissident Voice in reply to Mr. Joshua Frank’s bigotry and paternalism regarding Senator Reid’s position as Senate Minority Leader. Thanks to Ronan for pointing me Mr. Frank’s direction.

Here is the emailed letter that I have hastily shot off:

From: John Fowles
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2004 9:31 AM
To: letterspage@dissidentvoice.org
Subject: Letter Page Submission

Dear Dissident Voice:

I was shocked at Joshua Frank’s bigotry in his article about Senator Reid’s new position as the Senate Minority Leader. It seems that to this “enlightened” liberal, Mr. Frank, it is still kosher to disparage a man because of his religious affiliation. I was surprised to see this vitriol based on Senator Reid’s being a “Mormon” coming from Mr. Frank, who should know better than to demonize a person because of such a criterion.

Aside from the bigotry, Mr. Frank’s words reveal perhaps the key weakness of the leftist mentality in this country: he dismisses those things that are important to a majority of people in this country as “backwards” Republican values. If only everyone were as enlightened as Mr. Frank–then no one would think there was anything wrong with killing a baby in the womb or with supporting traditional families. Mr. Frank lists some of the Reid’s “backwards” political moves, including voting “yes” to ban partial birth abortions, as if stopping partial birth abortions were a bad thing. And there lies a large part of the problem because, quite frankly, it scares a majority of Americans that people like Mr. Frank take such a view towards the dignity of human life. As long as the majority of Americans see the democratic party as espousing such views, it will remain on its deathbed.

A second major weakness of the leftist mentality comes through in Mr. Frank’s bigoted words. He reveals a prescriptive vision of the democratic party that reinforces the exact difficulty that Reid’s leadership is calculated to allay. He longs for the day, not too many weeks ago, when the democratic party was so ideologically rigid that even the most minor voice of dissent could not be heard. Life on the ideological plantation would again flourish under Mr. Frank’s vision and anyone, whether a member of a minority group or not, who dared stray off the ideological plantation would have their foot cut off with an axe. And under this view, minorities who dared get off the democratic dole and find a place for “backwards” values in their worldviews would continue to deserve crucifixion, as we all witnessed with Estrada and Jones.

I voted for more democrats in this recent election than republicans. And yet, I am a man who espouses a clean and decent worldview that includes many of the exact values that Mr. Frank condescendingly dismisses as ignorance-based “backwards” relics. Reading Mr. Frank’s pessimistic arrogance reminds me of everything that has traditionally made me uncomfortable with the Democratic Party and causes me to question my own judgment in voting for democratic candidates in the recent election. But then I remember that this bigot is entitled to his own views just like the KKK is and that he doesn’t speak for all democrats or for the democratic party, as is evidenced by the fact that the democratic party is making the reasoned and realistic move of positioning Senator Reid as the Senate Minority Leader.


John Fowles

I have little or no hope that this letter to the editor will end up on the letters page of dissident voice. Presumably, they only want to hear like-minded contributions. I am used to this, since the letters to the editor that I send to German newspapers have never yet (to my knowledge) appeared in those pages.