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Letters: Restore rhetoric – Longview Daily News

Michael Gerson’s column in the May 1 edition of The Daily News is another of his brilliant assessments of our country’s pitiful state. He advocates for a return to the dignity of the political rhetoric of yesteryear to replace the vulgar, insensitive, ill-informed, and insulting words from both sides of the political fence, which are typified by Trump and comedian Michele Wolf. Such talk is “not merely change; it is digression. It is the triumph of the boors.”

I find it frightening when Gerson points out that “A guest at your dinner table like Wolf who profanely attacked other guests would be politely (or not so politely) asked to leave. A neighbor who ranted like Trump about Mexicans and the FBI would be avoided like the plague. And yet people whom we could not trust to behave in civilized company now dominate American public discourse.” It seems that “the hate-filled, populist appeal of Alabama Gov. George Wallace and the profanity and vulgarity of comedian Lenny Bruce … have finally won.” (At least Bruce wasn’t in politics.)

But the real founder of today’s gutter speech is Trump. Gerson couldn’t have put it better: “His signature phrase — “fake news” — is an attack on the free press and a comfort to authoritarians everywhere. … His degraded language results from a degraded politics. And the repair of our public life will eventually require a restoration of rhetoric.”

John M. McClelland

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