Letter to the Editor: Letter was sloppy in argument


The recent letter from Louis Kocon Jr. is big on vitriol but sloppy in argument.

Kocon maintains that the fault for the tragic shooting at the Republicans’ baseball team on June 14 lies with “vile rhetoric spewed out by the leaders of the Democrats.” But it is not hard to see that Kocon is indulging in some vile rhetoric of his own.

Having accused “the leaders of the Democrats,” Kocon immediately pivots to talk about misbehavior on the part of demonstrators in one place or another. Surely, it is entirely appropriate to criticize people who go beyond the exercise of their First Amendment rights and violate the law. But these people are not “leaders of the Democrats.”

Indeed, Kocon cites not a single instance of “vile rhetoric” from any Democratic leader. He gives no instance of any Democratic leader encouraging or condoning such lawlessness. That’s because there is no such instance.

Can anyone cite a single instance of a Democratic leader saying anything equivalent to Trump’s well-recorded calls to his supporters at campaign rallies to deal with anti-Trump protesters with such incitements as “knock the crap out of them,” “throw him out,” and “maybe he should be roughed up.”

(It’s well-documented that the rise of Donald Trump has led to a sharp increase in the number of hate crimes directed against minority groups.)

The shooting of Representative Scalise was different, an expression of political hatred against Republicans.

In a nation of more than 300 million people, every political leaning will have some unbalanced, violent adherents. But Kocon is eager to make this one violent man an expression of the Democrats’ “ideology.” But Kocon says nothing whatever about that ideology – again, no wonder his accusation goes unsupported, because Democratic thinking steadfastly opposes political violence and supports the rule of law.

No Democratic leaders have encouraged violence. And in the wake of this attack, the Democrats and Republicans joined together in an expression of unity against such violation of our democratic norms.

Too bad Kocon’s impulse is to recklessly use this event to sow still more disunity.

April Moore, Basye