The writer of a letter published on July 6 certainly brings new meaning to the concept of “alternative universe.”
Optimistic about the state of our nation under the leadership of President Trump, the writer claims that Democrats have their heads in the sand about the accomplishments of the current administration. Citing a new “refreshing change from stagnation and hopelessness,” he claims that the country, now the most prosperous it has ever been, enables people to “enjoy their existence…by being part of everyday life.” That’s a big claim, and one that I find, in today’s toxic and confrontational cultural climate, can be dependent on one’s country of origin, religion and color of one’s skin, as well as the size of one’s bank account.
Perhaps the part of this letter than caused me the most consternation was when the writer mentioned today’s resemblance to the “good times for all,” a time of “exuberance” in the late sixties and early seventies. I remember a nation divided over the validity of a war, where a generation of young men were put in harm’s way for a cause that never was ours and became less so as the years went by. I remember a nation that was split over the actions of a divisive president who sought to elude his responsibility for a criminal act to assure his election victory. It was a time of student protests and race riots, and Americans talked at each other, rather than listening. Inflation was rampant and the economy stagnated. I do not know what the author found to be “exuberant” about at the time, but my personal memory of those years could hardly be described as such.
The writer warns us about being fooled by “media hyperbole.” He has only to look to his own letter to find many fine examples of hyperbolic assertions.