COMMENTARY: Both sides are to blame for political climate

Wow! It seems that Mr. Roof is showing off his flair for misrepresenting the views and opinions of those his disagrees with while attempting to put a world-class spin on their words. As made clear in his letter, “Never let facts get in the way of a good story” published by the DSN on June 30.

First off, I wish to stand corrected about one point in my recent letter about political hypocrisy that was published in the Opinion pages of this very publication. It was the GOP offices that were firebombed and Democrat offices were merely vandalized. I was wrong in my recollection of the events of a few years past, that does not make it fake news.

In going back to fact check this (which I admit I should have done when writing my original letter) I noticed that it was reported as a GOP headquarters in all media outlets, including the one’s that Mr. Roof deems to be reporting fake news. I also found reporting from several media outlets, including the right’s beloved Fox News that members of that area’s Democratic party raised a significant amount of funds so that the GOP could reopen their headquarters in the area.

That’s a point that I’m sure Mr. Roof would rather conveniently pass over what, with his repeated flair for demonizing anyone with opinions to the left of his.

Now, for the meat and gristle of my rebuttal. Mr. Roof seems to ignore every point in my letter where I acknowledged that both sides of the political aisle have a lot of blame in the current state of affairs and instead took the opportunity to put me on blast and once again demonize anyone who might be to the left of his ideals.

I offer these quotes from the letter to which Mr. Roof was responding to as proof that I in fact was acknowledging shortcomings and poor behavior from both political camps. “So from my perspective, the righties have just as much blood on their hands as the lefties do.” and closer to the conclusion on my letter, “Maybe now, there will be enough people on both sides of the aisle willing to commit to bringing back civility and work at toning down their own party’s rhetoric and vitriol.”

Doesn’t sound like the words of a myopic blast to one side of the political arena, does it? Maybe Mr Roof should go back and meditate on one of the commandments he quoted so eloquently in his response. You know, the one about bearing false witness.

I also feel the need to address his assertions that he never heard anyone from the right talking about moving the Canada if President Obama were elected.

Working in a job that serves the public and having grown up being taught the value of just sitting and listening, I heard plenty of people from the right say just that. Both leading up to his first election and leading up to his re-election. Just because you don’t hear it said, doesn’t mean it isn’t being said.

As far as Sarah Palin’s political hit list. I did not say that she intended any ill consequence by it. As a matter of fact, I believe that when she realized that someone who might not be as mentally stable as they should be could have taken it to heart and taken it as a call to violence, she was truly remorseful.

However, one must lack the average wits of a mature adult human to not see how distasteful publishing a “Hit List” of any kind, accompanied by a map with areas marked off with symbols that bear a resemblance to cross hairs truly is. And, it makes no difference who interrupted who’s rallies, the fact and not an “alternative” one, remains that there was one candidate and one candidate alone who encouraged violence at their rallies and did so on camera.

Regardless if President Trump, then-candidate Trump, was being interrupted or not, you do not encourage supporters to engage in violence against those persons.

In the history of political rallies in this nation, I am not aware (I could be wrong here and if I am, I would gladly stand corrected) of a political candidate calling for violence directed at people who don’t support them or don’t look like one of their supporters.

My letter was directed at those on the right who in the wake of the shooting where Republican members of Congress seemed to have been targeted because they were Republican, an event which I believe to be an act of terrorism, spoke and acted as if no one on their side of the political arena had ever engaged in over-the-top and violent rhetoric, while blasting the left.

Had the situation been the opposite and it were Democrats that were targeted and talking heads from the left were doing the same, my letter would have featured examples of Democrat hypocrisy and been titled “The Democratic pot calling the kettle black”. No matter what side of the political aisle one stands one, “those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.

In closing, I think it behooves all Americans to take this adage to heart, “Make sure your own back porch is clean before you go sweeping your neighbor’s”.

Ricky Shehorn

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