What Will You Do? - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1752323

What Will You Do?

As one of U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin’s constituents who wants to know what our elected representatives are up (or down) to, I read his latest “Dear Joan” email about the recent rioting at the Capitol with sadness and anger.

I had hoped he would acknowledge that what happened had been an organized, well-funded, coordinated (inside and outside) attack. I also hoped he would have decried what videos continue to show were the motives of many in the mob, by way of icons that included Confederate flags, nooses and a T-shirt blazoned with “Camp Auschwitz.”

Alas, the congressman’s email is late, euphemistic and impoverished (“we need less violence”?).

I would suggest to the congressman that he and his staff take another look at the Reconstruction Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and then read “The Clansman” (1905), which inspired “The Birth of a Nation,” which in turn inspired President Woodrow Wilson at a White House showing of this incredibly powerful film to say, “So true.” Under the rubric of “MAGA,” there would seem to be a MEGA dose of demographic denial about those who will constitute the American population in the near future.

I would like to ask the congressman what he himself is prepared to do, beside asking his constituents to honor the spirit of our “great country.” What bills he would propose or co-sponsor that might suggest how the lies and perpetuation of ignorance that became obvious rallying points long before January 6 can be dealt with fairly, without violating the First Amendment. What imaginative recommendations he might make to Suffolk County school officials to help better educate youngsters in thrall to seductive partisan media. What PR moves he might initiate now to ensure that the “great challenges” that he says may take “months and years” to address don’t continue to get kicked down the road with fatuous rhetoric and (perhaps) unintended but inevitable loss of more life.

Joan Baum



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