That was an interesting diatribe you submitted to, and was published by, the Teton Valley News last week (Don't believe the media, Teton Valley News, July 17, 2019). You were expecting a barrage of responses so I don’t want to disappoint. Here’s mine.

My first concern—your title “Don’t believe the media.” Since a free press is necessary for maintaining a strong democracy, that’s a serious charge. You can find charts identifying the bias of perspective media so that you know if your information is coming from the far left, the far right or the center. And, if you choose to consistently get your news from one side or the other, you may find your views becoming skewed. As I read through your letter, I was wishing you had noted your sources so they could be reviewed by the reader to better understand your position.

I did note your mention that the University of Pennsylvania indicated there is “less racism now than any time in the history of this nation.” Strange. The reports in the media indicate otherwise. But, then, the media is biased; or, are they just reporting the actual news events? When I googled University of Pennsylvania study on racism, I came up with a website called “Campus Reform” which is a project of the Leadership Institute, a conservative organization founded to train conservatives. Could be influencing your views perhaps?

Because Trump “is our president” does that mean we are duty bound to respect and honor him – not! The office of President of the United States brings with it certain expectations. The website U.S. History.org indicates that the “first person most American children remember beyond their immediate circle of family and friends is the President of the United States." Is this President one you want your children and grandchildren to hold up as a model of good citizenship and acceptable behavior? Not!

And, finally, you defend his attack on the Squad—four young women elected to represent their respective constituencies. The visual of Trump gleefully listening to the chant of “send her back” at his rally, says it all as to his position. Some of us lived through the assassinations of President and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Do we want to encourage such violence against these young women simply because we do not agree with their positions? Our President is our leader; his positions influence our actions. Think about it!

I for one don’t “hate” but I am angry and disappointed that the state of our nation has come to this. We have outstanding young people graduating from our high schools, we have dedicated public servants in our government, we have citizens who care deeply about our country. Yes, we can improve; we are human after all. And, as humans, we could band together to work for the betterment of ALL; wouldn’t that be nice! Calling names and pointing fingers is getting us nowhere. We are better than that.

Pat Butts

Alta

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