Good riddance to political soapbox columnists

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To the editor:
For those of us who appreciate a local paper for community information and events of interest, we are grateful that the political soapbox columns are gone. The extreme right-wing proselytizing of Harry Hurley and Seth Grossman diminished the quality of the paper. Norm Cohen did an admirable job, but he could not dedicate his space solely to addressing the bulk bunk of the other two, who each had longstanding soundboards for their ill-conceived fringe views. Some of their supporters responded irrationally to substantive criticism of these columnists.   

 Grossman’s anti-government, hyper-free market views as an occasional contribution would be valid under an open forum and free speech. He disparaged the TechCenter, which does tremendous work in aviation research. He praised the casinos, which produce nothing. He allied himself with Rush Limbaugh, the silver-spooned college dropout who became a multimillionaire as a talk-radio buffoon. His misunderstanding of the science behind the Hurricane Sandy was exposed. He believes that we should take the mentally ill off the street and that poverty is self-inflicted. What was The Current’s reasoning for granting a weekly column for the ill-conceived, poorly-researched, and weakly-reasoned small-world views of Seth Grossman, a local conservative attorney who masquerades as an expert on social issues? This would be like having a creationist or flat-Earther as the science columnist. 

What causes America’s problems? The overall effect of the quick loot-fast plunder and “You are what you own” culture of private companies, whether corporate, small business, or startups with their unfair dismissals, ADA violations, puppet HR departments, inflated CEO and executive salaries, fudged numbers, off-shoring, outsourcing, 24/7 advertising, and cult-like management schemes are destroying America. The symbiotic relationship of greedy producers and consumers has created a class system, not a nanny state, in America. 

Veterans, churches, press and educational institutions, instead of selling out, should stand up to the converging well-funded right-wing fanatics who live in an alternate reality and seek to rewrite history, fabricate controversies, underfund science, annihilate oversight, poison the media, misinterpret the Bible, blame unpopular targets (poor, sick, gay, black, atheist) and rationalize disparity as godly, American, or the result of liberty and prosperity. 

Jeff Lehman


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