To the Editor,
It is with great anticipation that I open my copy of "The Oswegonian" every Friday to Lori Moreth’s column. Her keen wit and acute sense of satire are one of the highlights of your publication. There are very few writers who can capture and parody the zeitgeist of the shameful state of far-right-wing thought in this country, and present it in a manner that one is almost forced to question whether she truly believes the silliness she presents every week.
The reason I am writing this letter is that, sadly, I found that she has tipped her hand; what she wrote and published this Friday (and on such an auspicious date nonetheless) has clearly announced to the reader that she is, in fact, a humorist.
First, let’s examine the opinion she presented: no one of sound mind, even the most rabid of the fringe right, would suggest that our standard of behavior should be defined as, "at least we aren’t as bad as al-Qaeda." Not only is it ridiculous to deduce that acting better than the worst example you can think of is therefore "good," but it also fails to take into consideration that we as a nation have declared ourselves to observe a higher set of standards because it is the morally correct thing to do. Ergo, our standards of behavior cannot be defined by the actions of others, but only by our own actions.
Secondly, Moreth states that the reason we haven’t been attacked again is due to the Bush/Cheney administration. Again, this is a well known logical fallacy, "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" or, correlation equals causation. It also ignores the fact that the Bush/Cheney administration failed to stop the attacks of Sept. 11, but also ignores such terrorist attacks in the United States such as the Beltway Snipers, as well as al-Qaeda attacks elsewhere, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Spain. It would be more accurate to say that al-Qaeda hasn’t successfully attacked within the United States again (which still does not imply causation).
Finally, Moreth also states that water boarding is performed on all military trainees. Having once been a military trainee, I can state that this is patently false. Water boarding training, along with other forms of resistance training, is taught only to the upper echelons of military units: the Green Berets and the Navy Seals, for example.
Otherwise, I have enjoyed reading Moreth’s parody of a rabid, reactionary right wing columnist who has no actual connections with reality for the past few months. Her performance should be placed with the likes of Stephen Colbert and Jonathan Swift for their ability to make even the most unbelievably distasteful statements tinged with just enough humor to make them palatable.
–Matthew A. Harmer