Go ahead, splash some salsa on the name-callers

Editor’s note: The powers that be at WND.com have told Michael Ackley he may submit the occasional column. As madness has accelerated this election season, Mr. Ackley offers the items below. Remember that his columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.

Here are a couple of incidents that illustrate the confident nature of contemporary political and/or economic ignorance. They illustrate as well how important it is for those of us with conservative political and economic convictions to speak up.

Howard Bashford tells us he learned at a book club meeting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew in advance that Hamas terrorists would attack and murder his people last Oct. 7.

“Howard,” we said, “you didn’t believe that nonsense, did you?”

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“Well, she wouldn’t make up something like that, would she?” he responded. “She’s really smart – reads books, you know.

“She also knew that President George W. Bush knew ahead of time that al-Qaida would attack us on Sept. 11, 2001, and that FDR was forewarned of Japan’s Dec. 7, 1941, assault on Pearl Harbor.”

Again we asked, “Did you believe her?”

Howard looked sheepish and said, “Well, she seemed certain.”

That’s the problem. Today’s ignorance is as comfortable with itself as it is common.

Howard Bashford – a fixture in these columns for decades – is fictitious, of course. But the book-club woman and her pronouncement about Netanyahu were all too real.

Here is another example:

On signal anniversaries, journalists who worked at the old Sacramento Union get together to toast that institution. It died 30 years ago, Jan. 14, and about two score old hands gathered to mark the date.

Attending was a young man who confidently asserted that Joseph Farah, founder of WND.com, was responsible for The Union’s demise. Not only that, he averred that Mr. Farah’s daughter, Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former official in the Donald Trump administration and now a prominent political pundit, was a Nazi.

We begged to disagree. This gentleman had been of short tenure and of the lowest rank in The Union editorial department. He was ignorant of the complex causes of The Union’s demise. Further, he displayed as much understanding of National Socialists – Nazis – as the average carp.

Here we face a dilemma. Should we speak up when folks toss around terms like “Nazi,” “facist,” “right-wing” and “extremist”? Should we overcome our polite acceptance of gross insults from people who are intellectually lazy?

Contradicting false assertions is likely to disturb the equilibrium of a social setting. People who think you are a Nazi because you disagree with them tend to respond angrily when you tell them in polite terms how far they are off base.

They get loud and may even become so agitated that they jostle you or others nearby. Drinks could be spilled, cheese trays upset, salsa splashed.

You may be ostracized. On the other hand, you may at least inject doubt into one or more closed minds.

Shameless self-promotion: Yours truly has self-published a book of poetry titled “A Contemporary Bestiary.”

If you like animal fables; if you like rhythm, meter, humor and rhyme, you will like this book. The “Bestiary” is free of modernist conceits; its poems are straightforward and conventional in a style critics have labeled “the new formalism.”

Some – most of them, actually – tell little stories. A couple pose questions; a few may suggest moral lessons.

“A Contemporary Bestiary” is available through Amazon.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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