Blame lies with each one of us

I’m writing in response to Bob Snell’s Aug. 7 letter to the editor. The incontrovertible truth in his letter was the title: "Not just Trump." After that, he fell victim to the same political perspective that leads to political violence -- identity politics.

The fact of the matter is that it is not just President Trump -- we are all to blame for a culture that creates an environment where political violence is tolerated and, yes, encouraged through the promotion of identity politics. Trump is not the cause of this; not even close. He is merely a result of the culture we created. A French historian once said that “every country has the government it deserves.” I can think of no statement more applicable to our current situation than this.

We tolerate it when corporate media chase ratings by whipping up hysteria and allowing their “talking head” guests to attack, vilify and spew hate speech at other Americans based on their various identity-based political views. We tolerate it from the political class as they use identity politics to divide us in order to gain votes. We tolerate it when Hollywood celebrities and others spout off about how “evil” this politician is, or how “deplorable” those people are. We tolerate it by dehumanizing our fellow countrymen based on their political views. We tolerate it when social media uses it power to magnify the identity-based political turmoil. We tolerate it when we allow groups like antifa to spread political violence. We tolerate it when we allow people to twist the words of others into intentionally vile misrepresentations of what they actually say or believe.

Are you honestly looking for the cause of mass shootings? Look in a mirror. We are all part of the culture that is tolerating the poison, the very real and very deadly poison, of identity politics. Want to prevent these types of attacks from happening again? End the terrible reign of identity politics in this nation.

The heart of identity politics is found in socialism -- the division of people into groups and pitting them against each other. That’s why Trump is right when he says that we cannot -- must not -- allow socialism to take over in this nation. Socialism is the negation of the individual for the group, and that is the reality of identity politics. Like all things Marxist -- Identity politics is the opposite of what it pretends to be: It is not the empowering of the individual, but instead the empowering of the group over the individual -- the dividing of people and the result friction between them. Instead of finding your true identity, your individualism becomes secondary to a singular group identity.

Let’s all deserve a better government again! Let’s choose to protect the weakest minority of all -- the individual and abandon the corruption of identity politics. At the end of the day, we are all seeking the same thing -- the freedom to live according to our own individual conscience, the freedom to do, say and be whatever makes our soul happy in this journey of life. And we all have that freedom as individuals with one limitation, do not violate the right of others to do the same. The only way we can continue to have this freedom is if we stop with the identity politics, refuse to allow politicians, corporate media, Hollywood and each other to promote it any longer.

So, Not just Trump -- absolutely not. We’re the ones to blame. Let’s do better ... Let’s be better!

RON MURPHY

Lynchburg

Sharing the blame

I, too, write this letter with a heavy heart, agreeing with writer Bob Snell for his Aug. 7 letter to the editor in which he explained so well how President Trump is not the only one responsible for the recent shooting carnages. With his hateful language, he has encouraged the white nationalist extremists (Nazis) to be violent and to kill, but also everyone who voted for him bears responsibility.

I also would like to add Fox News to the list, a cable news network that spreads lies and hate.

I fear for this country.

HEIDE J. CANNON

Lynchburg

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