Letter: Columnist practices in the art of deception

Closeup of Soldiers in a row. Detail of Military boots and camouflage uniforms.
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To the Editor,

In his latest rant the arch-conservative columnist wrote, “America’s future is at serious risk … from dedicated internal forces that seek to replace constitutional government…,”  a fear I share with him. Right wing extremists, supported by Republican politicians, are infiltrating government institutions in an effort to remake America into an authoritarian state. Elections administrators, nonpartisan civil servants, are resigning in unprecedented numbers in the face of verbal and physical harassment, including death threats against themselves and their families.
Republican political operatives are attempting to replace these officials with partisan lackeys who cannot be trusted to impartially fulfill the duties of election administrators. The 45th president was unable to effect his coup due to courage and devotion to the Constitution that election officials displayed when they were pressured to falsify voting results. Perhaps the most shocking example occurred when Trump himself, not a subordinate, asked one lieutenant governor “to find 11,780 votes” and dishonestly place his state in the Republican column.
On the national level Neo Nazi and white supremacist groups have recruited members of the U.S. military, while on the state level they have targeted members of local police departments and the National Guard, individuals with weapons and tactical training.
These developments do not concern the hard-right columnist. In his eccentric view, the real threat to America is — wait for it  — “progressive propaganda.” Space limitations do not permit a complete refutation of every “talking point” presented in the latest collection of misinformation, but I will target the most glaring examples of bad faith. The author is distressed by the “assault on history…”, another point where we agree, though for different reasons. The 1619 Project, the author maintains, is “demonstrably false and inaccurate,” while failing to support this doltish statement with even one example, trusting his faithful readers to take his word for it. Apparently the problem with the 1619 Project is that it does not conform to the conservative fiction, as does the widely ridiculed 1776 Project, which cartoonishly depicts all American history as 100% positive and included the contributions of exactly zero historians.
The author also references the recent tumult at school board meetings, falsely attributing the uproar to the alleged leftist slant of many educators. In reality, these meetings have been disrupted by parents who have been duped and whipped into a frenzy by right-wing propaganda aimed at dismantling COVID mitigation efforts such as mask wearing, all in the name of “freedom.”
It is unfortunate that week after week the Bronx Times publishes such a deceptive column, written by a far-right ideologue.
Pasqual Pelosi

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