Letters to the Editor

Demagoguery

February 16, 2011

Advertisement

To the editor:

Another day, another xenophobic Journal-World column by Cal Thomas (Feb. 11).

Here are the things Cal says he fears: Islamic extremists (undefined), loss of nationhood and national identity, floods of immigrants, whole areas of town occupied by immigrants and their descendants, illegal immigrants.

Here are the approaches Cal says he dislikes: liberalism, multiculturalism (undefined), legislation against discrimination, national refusal to integrate immigrants into our culture (no examples given).

Here are the general objectives Cal supports: “require ... immigrants to become part of the melting pot,’ get tougher on Islamic extremists.

Here are Cal’s specifics on how to do that: none.

I have a hard time understanding how to integrate immigrants by discriminating against them. The only other concrete thing I get from the column is an urge to punish immigrants.

The best definition of demagoguery I have seen is one-sided thinking combined with scapegoating. Cal’s style of demagoguery works because he uses lots of scary undefined words one can project one’s fears onto, avoiding any specifics that could be rebutted.

Comments

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Another day, another one-sided piece of demagoguery from one more hippie leftist irritated with Cal Thomas. Highly entertaining.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Demagoguery? Please explain, specifically, how this letter is demagoguery.

And hippie leftists? What purpose does throwing out what you obviously consider an epithet serve? Does it advance some argument you're attempting to make? If so, what is that argument?

Majestic42 4 years, 2 months ago

Just another example of bozo getting mad at critics. It really doesn't get old.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Mad? He made a vacuous, throw-away post. I merely requested that he provide something resembling substance.

Do you share his vacuousness?

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

Pearls of wisdom from lester_the_maddox, all that's missing is his axe (er, pick) handle

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Immigration a fear...... eh?

Well I would stay away from our nations largest cities and their ethnic neighborhoods.

Fear of immigration taking our jobs away.. whoaaaaaaaaaa. Solution: bust the employers.

What we don't need are more laws. If existing laws are not enforced what good will more NOT necessary laws do?

Afraid of Islam? Why?

SnakeFist 4 years, 2 months ago

"A federal judge ruled it unconstitutional."

Like a typical Limbaugh lackey, you conveniently forgot to mention that two federal judges have held it to be constitutional. But, of course, because you disagree with their rulings you'll just dismiss them as "activist" judges.

ignati5 4 years, 2 months ago

Ah, Unsilent Cal! The columnist whose weekly rants have occasioned more hostile LTEs than any other the JW has ever run, with the possible exception of the late Jenkin Lloyd Jones, who, in less contentious times and with a lighter hand, was the editor’s supplemental instrument of pissing off Liberal subscribers (the principal instrument being, of course, Mr. Simon’s own “Saturday Column.”). I have myself submitted letters on both these accounts over the years. But the continued barrage of indignant letters about Thomas’ column may have reached the point of diminishing returns, in that they tend to render the columnist more than his due share of attention. I disagree with Mr. Burress that Cal is a “demagogue,” for instance. Demagogues are characterized not only by the traits he mentions but also by a flair for exhortation which Thomas lacks entirely. He is, rather, a would-be ideologue, trying to cobble together an anti-Islamic doctrine from bits and pieces of defunct Cold-War ideology, American nativism, right-wing illiberalism and Austrian clericalist rhetoric first enunciated when the Ottoman army stood at the gates of Vienna. There may well be a palpable threat, and certainly a challenge, of fundamentalist Islam to Western democratic values. But this ain’t it. BG

grammaddy 4 years, 2 months ago

Your car is German. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers Arabic, your letters Latin. And you complain that your neighbor is an immigrant? Pull yourself together!...and stop the fear-mongering!!

ignati5 4 years, 2 months ago

"Plagairism"(sic)? I don't know that attribution is required in a blog or chatroom any more than correct spelling, as they might be in a scholarly paper or copyrighted material. If you want to see statements lifted directly and embarrassingly from a readily available source, watch Glenn Beck some evening then read the entries of right-wingers on this site the next morning. Some of these statements are so outlandish as to defy any other source, and are often inserted as non-sequitors to the issue at hand, as if The Beckster (or the Limburger) were on to something that needs to be shared urgently.

ignati5 4 years, 2 months ago

I don't know what's wrong with being "solidly in the ranks of the left". I have been assigned to that category myself on occasion, though I would deny that there is anything remotely approaching a "Left" in Lawrence. BG

sr80 4 years, 2 months ago

you forgot that human martyr who just killed 40 and injured 57 was a islamic extremist courtesy of bagdad !!!!

Flap Doodle 4 years, 2 months ago

In other news: "Islamofascism: Romantics in Western media expect "democracy" to flower from the anti-Mubarak rioting in Cairo. But polling shows Egyptians actually seek strict Islamic rule.

According to a major survey conducted last year by the Pew Research Center, adults in Egypt don't crave Western-style democracy, as pundits have blithely trumpeted throughout coverage of the unrest.

Far from it, the vast majority of them want a larger role for Islam in government. This includes making barbaric punishments, such as stoning adulterers and executing apostates, the law of their country. With the ouster of their secular, pro-American leader, they may get their wish.

Among highlights from the Pew poll:

• 49% of Egyptians say Islam plays only a "small role" in public affairs under President Hosni Mubarak, while 95% prefer the religion play a "large role in politics."

• 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.

• 82% support stoning adulterers.

• 77% think thieves should have their hands cut off.

• 54% support a law segregating women from men in the workplace.

• 54% believe suicide bombings that kill civilians can be justified...."

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/562840/201102101920/What-Egyptians-Really-Do-Want.aspx

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

Why don't you people just start another Crusade and be done with it?

But first, be sure you are able to name your favorite color. And the capital of Assyria.

And the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow.

labmonkey 4 years, 2 months ago

David...

If you do not like Cal Thomas (and for those who don't like Leonard Pitts), quit supporting them by giving them views, comments, and LTE's. You only support the LJworld's reason for printing these two extremists.

labmonkey 4 years, 2 months ago

M_I_C-

I agree with Thomas more than I do Pitts. I will usually read both until Thomas makes me cringe or Pitts throws out the race card (usually within the first paragraph of their pieces). My point is that I see so much hatred and vitriol directed toward these two writers in the comments and LTE's about how one or the other should be removed from the LJworld, yet these people only strengthen the reasoning behind the LJworld printing them....the irony they don't see.

Personally, I get very pissed when I accidentally click on the narcissistic bike blogger's pieces... I have a feeling that he gets off checking his number of hits and I don't want to help him in anyway.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

If Agnostink is Edmund Wilson, then Merrill must be William Allen White. Good grief, have you neither shame nor judgment?

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Or, ignati5, were you simply engaging in dark humor of sorts?

camper 4 years, 2 months ago

We seem to want multiculturalism and democracy in places like the Mideast. The Nazi's certainly did not support multiculturalism. Cal took a jab at differing cultures within the US, and it is easy to extrapolate his views as being way to nationalistic and patriotic. While both can be virtuous, they can be equally as bad if you go overboard with it.

I believe multiculturalism is a positive and unique thing the US has going and it is in our history. This is why I am proud to be an American.

gbulldog 4 years, 2 months ago

Many illegal aliens should be classified as BONDED SLAVES WITH NO LEGAL RIGHTS. They are desperate people, who because of economic conditions come to the USA to better themselves. In the process they become slaves to the person who helped them come to the USA or a person who finds out they are illegal. If they complain, they are punished. This has been going on for years. Research Chinese girls brought into the West Coast for the Sex trade. If you really want to help illegal aliens, FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!! Once it is no longer profitalbe, the illegal aliens problem will be solved.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.