Letter to the editor: Letter to the editor was neither ‘hateful’ nor ‘slanderous’ | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Letter to the editor was neither ‘hateful’ nor ‘slanderous’

Cesar Munoz


Confucius said, “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” Contrary to Henry Rissier’s condemnation, Steve Brown’s letter was neither “hateful” nor “slanderous.”

Instead, look to Donald Trump’s four years plus in politics for quintessential examples of hateful words, e.g., referring to asylum seekers: These “aren’t people. These are animals.” Then, we have the raucous and testosterone-filled Trump rallies where he has spitefully told fans to “get rid” of protesters, to “knock the crap out of” them.

Regarding the misuse of “slanderous”: Any first-year law student will tell you that no case for slander exists in Brown’s letter. Moreover, Brown never uses the word “Republicans,” but rather offers a list of “boxes” for “Trump supporters,” or anyone for that matter, to check off if applicable. (I myself had to check off a few. “An unexamined life is not worth living.” — Socrates.) Furthermore, many Republicans today would be insulted to be equated with “Trump supporters,” e.g., John W. Dean.

Yes, Dean was President Nixon’s White House counsel, one of the “fall guys” that actually did time in prison for Watergate. In fact, in his book, “Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and His Followers,” Dean and co-author Bob Altemeyer, a Canadian psychologist and researcher, agree with Brown: “Authoritarian followers are noticeably more afraid of the world than other people are.”

Finally, I found it offensive for Rissier to diminish Trump’s behavior after the 2020 election with such benign words as “post-election antics.” Whiskey, tango, foxtrot! His “antics” led to an attempted coup — riotous, deadly and forever staining the United States.

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In conclusion, Brown’s letter might have been harshly critical and satirical, but it was not hateful nor slanderous. In fact, it was quite truthful, albeit sadly truthful.




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