You say potato, I say potahto

It’s bad enough some readers distort my positions in order to make their points in letters to the editor. Even after I re-read the referenced columns I often can’t figure out what the heck they’re talking about. Now, recently a reader lambasted me simply on the basis of what he thinks I would have to say about “Detroit’s mega-downfall” even though I’ve never mentioned Detroit, that I can recall, in 15 years of writing political commentary.
I’ve noticed whenever I tick-off readers many raise their business acumen or military service with something like “I served my country — or built a business — so Mr. Moore would have the privilege of stating his opinions.” OK, then what seems to be the problem that I have some? (Full disclosure, I was in the Army for five years — yes, the U.S. Army — and owned a successful business for two decades.)
Over the past year readers taking the time to comment on one or another of my dollops of wisdom have called me variously, “myopic,” “pathetic,” “delusional,” “illogical” and “anti-Republican.” You know, I do have feelings. I am not illogical.
In fact, I’m very logical and even have established a clear pecking order I stick to rather resolutely of whose side I would come down on in a squabble. My worldview relies on a sliding scale starting with the most vulnerable down though the most abrasive, overbearing, arrogant, pretentious or despicable without regard to party affiliation.
With exceptions for the occasional exception, the scale looks like this: Kids; single moms; elderly; disabled vets; the disenfranchised and discriminated; military; waitresses; working middleclass; family farmers; small business owners; exotic dancers; teachers; civil servants; union members; progressive columnists; and editors — now I’m just kissing up. Bringing up the rear are celebrities; politicians; developers; NFL owners; Fortune 500 CEOs; multinational financiers; bigots, panderers and fear mongers; rapists and murderers; jihadists; and Glenn Beck.
See, no Republicans except by happenstance.
The higher entry nearly always trumps lower entries. For instance, kids trump teachers when union rules shortchange student performance but teachers’ unions trump demagogic politicians who exploit them for partisan advantage.
Or, this one. Mom and Pop business owners trump government inspectors who ignore commonsense in regulatory enforcement but government watchdogs trump corporations that attempt to skirt environmental rules.
It’s all pretty simple. If you happen to be a sociopath, operate a boiler room scamming seniors or are chairman of a Wall Street bank, your worldview scale more likely runs from egotist to the gullible.
Likewise if you’re a whack job running an alternate reality website your worldview scale probably starts with Glenn Beck and moves down through Birthers; Tenthers; Deathers; militia members; creationists; gun nuts; post-apocalyptic survivalists; and people wearing tinfoil hats who live in fallout bunkers.
At the bottom of your list would be the Illuminati; Frenchmen; U.N. black helicopter crews; government brainwave monitors; aliens, space and brown; socialist, Muslim, homosexual atheists; and of course, myopic, pathetic, delusional, illogical columnists.
Yeah, we’re probably never going to see eye to eye.
Marty Moore is a freelance writer living in Port Richey.
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