Letter to the Editor

Extremists have no credentials for their advice

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

To the editor:

Actor Mike Farrel has elected himself senior flower child, while Rush Limbaugh exhorts us to worship George Bush. Farrel proclaims death-row prisoners are victims, while Limbaugh portrays the unemployed as lazy bums. Farrel laments possible war while ignoring the acts of murderers. Limbaugh fumes over a few anti-war demonstrators and dismisses 8.5 million unemployed as irrelevant and insignificant.

What are the qualifications of these self-proclaimed experts? Do they have formal training in economics, politics, foreign relations, criminal justice or history? Are they authorities on anything other than entertainment? Do personal experiences make them experts on issues of peace and war or economic policy? Have they sought or served in an elected position? Have they experienced crime, unemployment, discrimination, war or abuse, giving them special insight? The answer to all of these questions is no.

Extremism on the left and right is dangerous, and these individuals are extremists. In reality, they are exactly alike. They are entertainers and have no special knowledge. They both crave attention and use critical issues about which they know little to promote themselves. Our protests should be against their uninformed extremism. When sick, we seek out expert advice. We should do the same on matters of peace, war and economic welfare.