Dear Editor:

I found the recent article by Mike Buffington about Russia timely, well-written and interesting.

In my 72 years, I experienced the same history to which he refers, even spending time in Russia in the early ‘90s as he did. I also share his concern for the future of our country. However, as Co-Publisher of Mainstreet Newspapers, the Barrow News-Journal parent company, a comment he made could reflect on the ideological point of view of the newspaper itself.

Ideally, the news media will report the news straight-up so as not to influence people towards a particular political ideology. But journalists are human and many carry the biases of the academic silos where they received their education. They are also influenced by media colleagues who, as we have witnessed for many years, carry a predominantly Leftist worldview. Biased publishers often shape the news they do publish while suppressing the information they don’t. Even though it was an Opinion piece, does his comment reveal a bias that could potentially flavor the paper?

Mr. Buffington’s comment:

“But it remains to be seen if we can survive an internal cold war where one-half of Americans believe any means to a political victory is justified, even if it means trampling on the very freedoms we say we want to preserve.”

I would agree with this comment were it rhetorical. But in the context in which he placed it, the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol protests, one could reasonably infer he meant the one-half of Americans who voted Republican. If so, that would represent deep political bias.

Yes, there are Republicans who sincerely believed Trump’s “stolen election” lie and showed up at the Capitol thinking they were protecting the country! After all, they had just witnessed four years of Democrat Leadership and most of the Media promoting the Trump/Russia collusion lie to hobble the duly-elected president. Under these circumstances it was not much of a leap for them to believe the new election was tainted, just as Stacy Abrams and other Democrats claimed theirs to have been. Our Republic was never under any serious threat from a guy in a horned headdress.

“Any means to an end” has been a consistent characteristic of Socialists and Leftists for over a century. The so-called “Progressive” wing of the Democrat Party has a strong following of Leftist members and deep-state apparatchiks who see the rule of constitutional law as an impediment they are willing to thwart.

The majority of Republicans have core principles wrapped around the Rule of Law. I’d like to believe this is also true for most Democrats. Both parties have their extremists. However, even with both groups of crazies lumped together, I do not believe they constitute “one-half of Americans.”

For the sake of our future I hope I am right. I also hope Mr. Buffington will clarify his intent.

Sincerely,

Joe Counter

(Buffington responds: Thank you for your letter. My intent is to point out that many Americans of all political viewpoints now believe winning in politics at any cost is acceptable. A recent poll showed that around one-third of Americans believe political violence is sometimes justified. Other polls consistently show that a number of Americans believe fake news, including the lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election or the crazy QAnon conspiracy.  The riot of Jan. 6, 2021, was a sloppy event, but it was intended to intimidate and thwart the counting of election returns. Some state houses have also seen similar events, although not as violent as Jan. 6 turned out to be. Extremists on the political left and right are a danger to democracy because they want to win any any and all costs. If we don't cool that ideology, the nation will find itself under some kind of authoritarian ruler from either the left or the right. No party has a good claim today to democratic values. I fear we're in a domestic cold war just as we were in an international cold war 50 years ago.)

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