Vail Daily letter: America is better than our current political dialog
‘America is better than this’
Thank you for printing the opinions of Butch Mazzuca and Gus Nicholson in your June 19 edition. Both gentlemen address the crude and destructive discourse we are witnessing in this country today. Nicholson reminds us that we reap what we sow, and we should start treating one another with respect, while also discussing his displeasure with the current trends in our new political landscape. Mazzuca calls out those in the media with a liberal bent for their mean-spirited, vicious vitriol directed toward the Trump administration.
While many things contribute to this sad evolution, it’s stunning to me that Mazzuca, who usually seems to have a pretty good grasp on things, doesn’t recognize that Trump, unfortunately, has added to the problem with his own crude, insulting, destructive discourse. And despite his tough talk about immigrants, war heroes, our allies, disabled people and women, he has shown himself to have a very thin skin when he’s made to reap what he sows. He has made it even more acceptable to be a bully in America. People figure if the president can do it, so can they.
America is better than this.
Nicholson’s priest told him we have to give president 45 a chance, and I’m sure Mazzuca would like to see that happen. Many might be happy to give him a chance when he starts acting like a president. Now, it may be tempting to say, “But look what (insert whatever presidential name suits your purposes) did.” But we are not in the past—we are in the here and now; and we can’t justify the current circus by saying we’ve had circuses before.
Many of Trump’s supporters have put themselves in the awful trap of defending the indefensible because they can’t allow themselves to be wrong. But the indefensible cheapens the ideals that these supporters hold dear. Instead of turning a blind eye to this threat people should be angry about it. Let Trump and the world know that you want a better replacement for political correctness than crude, destructive insults. And you don’t think the Russians are suddenly trustworthy people we should get cozy with. And you don’t think government by tweet is a good idea. And you really do want Trump to think first before he talks, to know what he is talking about and to be sincere about what he says. And you want him to be an answer to corrupt politicians, vs. the carbon copy he’s starting to look like (you’ve seen that happening, right?) And you want a clear, united message from the White House. And you don’t want to ignore current realities. And you really would like to see Trump replace his rude bravado with more mature behavior. Right?
‘If you can’t stand the heat …’
Having worked in academia for more than 25 years, I take issue with Mazzuca’s column in the Vail Daily on June 19. In his article he talks of “research” that indicates “academia itself … has stopped short in both the understanding and practice of true diversity.” Essentially blaming the educational system for the unhinged rhetoric in today’s politics.
He is right, there are studies out there, and they indicate that the more education one has the more liberal one’s perspective. This would immediately make it difficult to find hires with the proper political leaning at any university. With 6 percent of scientists identifying as Republican, his suggestion that universities hire on ideological grounds is impossible on many levels. And if we go toward diversity is it simply political or is it also religious, ethnic, gender? It’s a slippery slope.
After blaming the academics, he singles out MSNBC and The New York Times for their coverage of Trump. Mr. Mazzuca, it is called the Fourth Estate for a reason — to serve as an additional check on the three branches of government. With executive orders ruled unconstitutional, a possible obstruction of justice investigation, irrational middle-of-the-night tweets, and alternative facts, criticism of the current Republican administration is richly deserved. Mazzuca’s posture of impartiality is discredited when he fails to call out conservative media outlets such as Brietbart, InfoWars, or Fox News — arguably the vanguard of the deterioration of civility in America.
Mazzuca thinks he and Trump have been treated unfairly. He calls the attacks on Trump “mean-spirited” and “vicious,” which are precisely the words that could be employed to describe how Trump speaks of anyone who disagrees with or criticizes him, and it was in fine form during the campaign.
As Mazzuca seems to have a penchant for sayings and adages he would do well to keep in mind (as would Trump) this bromide, “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”