Mark Caserta is a businessman and resident of Cabell County (WV) who regularly writes opinion pieces in the local paper, the Huntington (WV) Herald-Dispatch. More than a year ago I posted a response to a piece he wrote in which he detailed his belief that removal of government sponsered prayer in schools helped lead to a downfall of values in America.
That blogspost received several hits during the following months from the googling of "Mark A. Caserta" through various hotel-based Internet provider systems. Because Mr. Caserta mentioned previously in editorials that he regularly travels the country for business purposes, I feel safe in my presumption he read the post.
(If you find yourself here, feel free to comment, sir. Weblogs are sometimes goofy--particularly those kept by someone who thinks it's funny to have the nickname "Film Geek." But it's very much like the Letters To The Editor in the Herald-Dispatch. You put your thoughts and ideas out for the public consumption, and people respond.)
Mr. Caserta's newest column in the paper on Saturday caught my attention. So, here's an open letter to the author:
Dear Mr. Caserta:
In your editorial "Look out, America, here come the liberals," you attempt to make hay with the same tired arguments pundits have used against President-Elect Obama since it became clear he was the DNC's nomination for President: that Obama will be the "most liberal president ever to grace the White House," that he will radicalize abortion rights and practice set by Roe vs. Wade, the anniversary of which (as you cleverly amp up the drama) "will likely become a national holiday in the Obama administration," that marriage will have a "multitude of meanings" under an Obama presidency, that far-left judges will be nominated to the US Supreme Court, and that the President-Elect is interested in the "dismantling of our right to bear arms."
Nice touch using an NRA source to back up that last point! I wonder how many memberships that organization has gained since November by using that soundbite.
In addition to your predictions of how the Obama administration will govern, you attack those who have different political perspectives than you by describing them as "liberal loons," who have felt "oppressed by values and principles" and who are now "crawling out from under rocks to pursue the liberal agenda."
There is such hatred in your language, Mr. Caserta. Hatred and arrogance. And that's why I think you are wrong.
This country has been divided along political lines for far too many years. At one time, political disagreement was somewhat civil. Differences of opinion were noted and argued, sure. But liberals weren't described as being without morals any more than conservatives were considered to be racist hicks. Political differences, and the outcome of honest, productive debate, should be valued and respected in--of all places-- America.
And that's what you accomplish in many of your editorials. Hateful, arrogant ridicule. When you describe the "loons" who are "oppressed by values" and who are now "crawling out from under rocks" you define anyone who differs with your political perspective as less intelligent, less sane and less values oriented than you.
In other words: you describe yourself--and people who think like you--as being better than those who are different.
It's time to stop fear mongering and put away the arguments that create division, Mr. Conserta. This country must unite in order to survive. I'm sure that it's sort of cool to be a lone voice predicting well in advance the downfall of America--even Sean Hannity has now started calling his radio program The Conservative Underground--but let's put aside the name calling over differences and the fear tactics over what we think might happen in order to solve together America's greatest challenge: divisiveness.
Let's agree to disagree, stop the name calling and start working together, Mr. Conserta. It's the only chance we have for success.
The Film Geek
PS. By the way, please don't read too much into the fact that this open letter is sandwiched between a Hong Kong Phooey video and a post called "Film Scenes That Matter." We liberal loons have lots of unusual interests.