The Daily News

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to some of Ben Steines’ comments in his Nov. 3 letter critiquing my letter of Oct. 28.

First of all, I never called Mr. Steines a communist in my letter April 29. I certainly made the case that a complicit media writes whatever the left wants it to, similar to communist China. Considering all the stories that the mainstream media has gotten wrong to either support the left or castigate conservatives, that is hardly a reach. But Mr. Steines exaggerates when he says I called him a communist.

Yes, Mr. Steines, I took liberties with the term “totalitarian.” This was for effect, which I think most readers readily understood.

I won’t reiterate the arguments I made in my Oct. 28 letter since Mr. Steines’ letter does little to undermine them. But I would like to comment on a couple of statements he made.

In an effort to justify Attorney General Merritt Garland’s attempts to quiet parents speaking out at school board meetings, Mr. Steines sites Loudon County Virginia as an example of parents making threats. I am glad he did. In Louden County, a boy sexually assaulted a female student in a girls’ bathroom. Inexplicably, school officials moved the student to another school where he committed the same heinous act. Fathers of victims and other parents, as one can only imagine, are irate at the reckless and negligent actions of school officials. So, yes, Mr. Steines, the school board there is under attack and tensions are high as two young girls’ lives have been changed forever. But all investigations are being handled on a local level as they should be. The Biden administration is way out of its lane when it gets involved in local school board matters.

In Oct. 14, climate change activists stormed the Interior Department. Mr. Steines describes the matter this way, “several dozen climate change activists ... were illegally trying to occupy the Department of Interior ... were arrested on the spot. Nor were they there to cause physical harm to anyone or to subvert the U.S. government.” First, I’m not sure how “illegally trying to occupy the Department of Interior” is not subverting the U.S. government. Furthermore, Newsweek reported that over 100 people were arrested during the protest. An Interior Department spokesman said that a group of protestors, “rushed the Interior department lobby injuring at least one security officer who was taken to a nearby hospital.” The article goes on to say that police and protestors “clashed” outside the Interior Department forcing officers to use a taser on several of the protestors. Other accounts suggest more security personnel were injured. There seems to be quite a disconnect between the two accounts with Mr. Steines’ account being a “grossly partisan mischaracterization.”

On the other hand, Mr. Steines describes the Jan. 6 Capitol protest as an effort “to overturn American democracy.” This is hyperbole. I suppose protesting an election in which hundreds of affidavits were filed sighting election irregularities, in which numerous data scientists have raised concerns and in which states like Pennsylvania violated their election laws is an effort to “overturn American democracy.” But what are the facts surrounding the Jan. 6 protest? The so-called “deadly insurrection,” lasted only a couple of hours and caused minimal damage. No firearms were confiscated from any of the “insurrectionists” inside the Capitol building, and not one shot was fired by a protestor. The only person killed was an unarmed protestor shot by a D.C. police officer. Of the tens of thousands of protestors in attendance that day, 500 were arrested for entering the Capitol building and clashing with police, but most for simply trespassing. One would think, to overturn our Democracy, the whole lot of them would have stormed the Capitol, guns in hand. The bludgeoning death of a Capitol police officer by a protestor, as reported by the New York Times and spread like wildfire by every other liberal news outlet, was, in fact, fiction. Furthermore, the FBI reported that there is virtually no evidence that the entry of the Capitol building was planned. Huh, an unarmed and unplanned insurrection? Liberal commentator Glenn Greenwald diminished the “armed insurrection” narrative with a column titled “The false and exaggerated claims still being spread about the Capitol riot.” His article is a great read and outlines the exaggerated and misreported stories surrounding the protest. He concludes his article with “One can- and should- condemn the Jan. 6 riot without inflating the threat it posed.” Amen. To be clear, I do not condone the actions by some Jan. 6 who tangled with D.C. police and damaged property, and I believe anyone who did is rightly prosecuted. But the reality is that the protest of Jan. 6 was hardly an effort “to overturn American democracy.” Mr. Steines accuses me of overstatement, but is unwilling to see he is guilty of the same thing. To use Mr. Steines’ own words, this “cheapens the debate around actual threats to our freedoms and our democracy.”

The definition of “totalitarian” suggests nothing about competency. Mr. Steines somehow suggests that totalitarianism and incompetence are mutually exclusive. On the contrary, I think the Biden administration is very adept at attacking the rights of freedom-loving Americans, but quite inept when it comes to actually running the country. Seventy one percent of Americans think we are headed in the wrong direction and the results of the Nov. 2 elections are indicative of this discontent.

John Schlechter



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