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Letter: GOP ‘Wrecking Crew’ should leave the Pope alone

On Nov. 8 I decided to describe our recent political history. In 1973 John Dean, then White House counsel, warned President Nixon of a “cancer” affecting the Presidency. It was Watergate with its conspiracies and perjuries — numerous people went to prison; all received some measure of redemption. Other Administration personnel who were or were not complicit — Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Roger Ailes, later became “The Wrecking Crew”, aptly named by Thomas Frank in his book. All worked for President George W. Bush. Roger Ailes became Propagandist-in-Chief for Rupert Murdoch and Fox.

Ultimately “The Wrecking Crew” has existed for 40 plus years. Richard Nixon’s own public admission of what destroyed him was the cancer of hate (sadism). All of those people and many more, including clergymen, ordained and otherwise, have been complicit in fostering and cultivating this garden; polarizing and bringing disgrace to our nation’s exceptionalism.

With Roger Ailes at Fox, Bill O’Reilly, Shawn Hannity and others on talk radio we have been saturated with the “red meat” of hate. Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh are two most prominent sadists — misanthropist (Beck) and misogynist (Limbaugh) are worth tens of millions; Roger Ailes (and friends) equally so. All claim to be so high-minded and to stand on moral pedestals; yet, all are sadists. Huge followings, public recognition and money — to be so cheap and lacking in common decency is breathtaking!

Pope Francis is their most recent target. He said that trickle-down economics has been a failure and benefits only a few. Several of the Fox opinion readers accused the Pope of instigating “class warfare.” Limbaugh called him a Marxist! Yes, there is a growing cancer.

And now we have the U.S. House of Representatives (Tea Party) and the Farm Bill debacle — more sadism — economic sadism. Continued humiliation of the poor and working poor by cutting food assistance and unemployment insurance! They just have to pile it on, don’t they? Class warfare?

Another no-brainer was the Violence Against Women Act, which took almost two years to pass. It’s all about keeping women subservient and in their place, is it not? These “good old boys” might consider the concept of equal rights. This is the United States, not the Middle East!

I am not a Catholic or Christian, barely religious sometimes, but Pope Francis can speak for me on many issues. My take is that Pope Francis is speaking of moderation; cautioning about “obsessions” and “single-mindedness” by keeping things in proportion and perspective and away from extremism. The Nuns on the Bus have it spot on!

Pope Francis is a 21st century Pope. I and many others are looking forward to his leadership. He is a world citizen and speaks for the common man, the common good and common decency. It is time to weed the garden! — Leland Jenson, Detroit Lakes