August 17, 2006

That’s Some Manifesto

After scanning countless editorial pages in American newspapers, we concluded something vaguely interesting. Are you ready for our big thesis?

We thought so: Those who pen letters to the editor mostly seem to do so for what can only be termed psychological reasons. They don’t aim to convince but for catharsis.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have long since noticed that the letters to the editor section of The New York Times is so replete with rants masquerading as arguments that it serves an emotional purpose more than an intellectual one. In the pages of the Gray Lady, one can see numerous leftists offer the exact same appeals without a shred of evidence. “Bush lied! He’s killing all of our children! Stop him!” That sort of thing.

This, it seems safe to say, wouldn’t alter the opinion of even the dullest dullard. Only those who already concur will appreciate it. And they will appreciate it in the way that one appreciates a good dose of Ritalin—that is to say, in an entirely psychological manner. Such palaver doesn’t change minds, but it feels good.

If the Gray Lady routinely offers useless letters of this ilk, you can imagine that The San Francisco Chronicle will up the ante. After all, the Chronicle is the un-thinking man’s Paper of Record, and San Francisco offers the opportunity to preach to the converted more than most American cities.

As a result, we were not surprised to find a missive in the famed Chronicle that perfectly captures the essence of the letter to the editor as emotional release. It was composed by one Bill Carman, a fellow whose last name undoubtedly causes much embarrassment for him, since he’s surely eschewed automobiles in favor of aiding the environment. His appeal reads as follows:

Editor -- Thanks to The Chronicle for running the excellent editorial holding the Bush administration accountable for the wanton attack on our constitutional rights (Editorial, "Patriots, awaken," Fourth of July). This administration, wrapped in the flag and conservative Christian values, puts us at great risk of losing what we hold most dear, our freedoms.

The conservative right has its own television channel (Fox News), its own manifesto (Bible) and a "blue blood" puppet in the White House doing the bidding of Corporate America and the wealthy classes. At the same time, those in this country with the most to lose have been co-opted into supporting those who threaten their health and welfare. Through the use of red herrings, such as abortion, immigration, terrorism, flag burning and homosexuality, the Bush boys and girls have the religious masses fearing the future.

Make no mistake; these are not nice people with a mandate from God. They want to turn back the clock and run this country as they see fit.



As we said, it’s a delightful example of the non-argument letter. No one who doesn’t already side with Mr. Carman on everything he discusses will be moved by his rhetoric at all. This is a rant, pure and simple.

But it is an interesting rant. We found this bit particularly interesting:

The conservative right has its own television channel (Fox News), its own manifesto (Bible) and a “blue blood” puppet in the White House….

Now we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are not experts on manifestos, but we think that the Bible isn’t a bad one, as far as manifestos go. In our minds, it beats, say, The Communist Manifesto or, say, Mao’s Little Red Book. But, hey, to each his own.

Posted at August 17, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack