A Loss Of Virtue - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1551993

A Loss Of Virtue

A Loss Of Virtue
I read with consternation John Porta’s letter to this newspaper [“Nothing Sticks,” Letters, Express, October 10]. In the interest of truth, I am compelled to cite facts. We are all entitled to our opinions. We are not, however, entitled to manufacture facts in support of our beliefs.
Joe Biden, at the urging of our allies, called for the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor’s head. That prosecutor was not investigating Burisma at the time. The matter had been shelved already. Biden’s move actually put his son’s associates in the crosshairs of an honest prosecutor — a complete contradiction of the conspiracy theory concocted to smear his candidacy.
Mr. Porta claims that the president is the victim of a harassment campaign. A free press does not only have the right but an obligation to “harass” our chief executive. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” If the man is too thin-skinned for that office, he has chosen the wrong line of work.
The press is not responsible for this White House’s scatterbrained policy, to the degree that one even exists. In any organization, constant turnover in leadership and staff cannot possibly generate a cogent product. Do not hang the shortcomings of the day trader at the top on the press.
The White House has no response to the whistleblower’s credible complaint, other than to discredit the man or woman who pulled the alarm. In fact, the complaint lines up with the administration’s own memo, in which the president clearly asks for “a favor” in exchange for aid to a desperate ally. When the president makes such a request, the implications are clear. Like Don Corleone, the president need not memorialize his expectations in pen and ink.
Since Mr. Porta’s letter appeared in The Express, and after nothing more than a single telephone call with a Turkish strongman, the president abandoned the Kurds to certain genocide. Desperate to save themselves, the Kurds have been forced into the arms of the “Butcher of Damascus” and his partner in crime, Vladimir Putin.
Which begs the question: Is the president of the United States the handmaiden of a Russian dictator? It does not matter if the president is a Russian asset or, simply, in the words of Lenin, a “useful idiot.” The net result is the same.
The same issue of The Express contains a thoughtful Op-Ed piece by Anthony Brandt [“Party Gone Missing,” Out Of Left Field, Opinion, October 10]. In it, he mourns the Republican Party of yore. Everett Dirksen and Bob Dole have been replaced by venal toadies who slink along the corridors of the Capitol, cowed by the threat of a poisonous tweet.
I support Mr. Brandt’s call to resurrect civic virtue. Not because of some shared political ideology — because it is right.
Peter Acocella
Sag Harbor

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