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Demagoguery at its best

Dear Editor,

Mr. Epstein in your Letter to the Editor on February 16, 2020, you claim the Republican members of the House and Senate are your “nemesis.” They are much, much more conservative than the conservative-Republican citizens they represent and that when you “averaged out” several pieces of “recent research” you found that 65% of Americans who identify as Republicans do NOT want Social Security benefits to be cut. That is probably true.

Then you go on to claim that as many as 95% of the Republican in that House and Senate want to cut Social Security. You claim that as many as 50% of them would love to abolish Social Security and every other government social program that helps people. Of course, you claim that they will never admit to this because “they know all too well that most Republican citizens do not believe in that. My that’s convenient.

Then you go on to state that tens of millions of American would be devastated if the programs were abolished. That would be true if your claims were true.

Why shucks, it even scares the dickens out of you! It would me too if I thought for a minute that you seriously researched your claims with anything that resembles scientific survey methods.

However, you do not provide us with any information as to how you surveyed or established that the Republicans in the House and Senate would “like to eliminate all the Social Security programs.” You simply state that you have “researched” that.

Really, how? Are your techniques anything like the 2016 surveys that had President Trump losing to Hillary by a landslide?

Then you go on to characterize (rather mischaracterize) the Republicans as: secretly believing in the cold-hearted Darwinian “survival-of-the-fittest.” That is a most peculiar characterization since to my knowledge most Republicans are pro-life! That would hardly support a Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest mentality that the (eugenicist) founders of “Planned Parenthood,” Margret Sanger and Ethel Brynes.

Then you claim that there is the hidden history of the billionaires behind the Rise of the Radical Right! You mean like Mike Bloomberg and Tom Sayers? Oh, wait! They are running in the Democratic primary for the presidential candidate.

Then, Mr. Epstein, you seem to be very vague (rather not at all) on how you established the positions of the 95% of the Republican lawmaker towards the federal social programs. But there seems to be no lack of hyperbole (exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally) in describing the Republicans as “cold-hearted Darwinian survival-of the-fittest.”

To be truthful, I have never read a more deceptive exercise in the propaganda technique known as demagoguery (political activity or practices that seek support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument.)

To quote Henry Louis Mencken: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

You, sir, are a demagogue!

Lucien Murzyn

St. Clairsville

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