Right's new poster girl to hate

As a longtime reader of The T&D, I have received a heady dose of conservative demagoguery. It's OK; like those who handle rattlesnakes, one gains immunity to the venom.

But I feel obligated to respond to the specific charges brought against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by Dr. Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson of Grove City College in Pennsylvania (T&D, Feb. 5). We can be certain she will be the new poster girl of the right's need to hate (after all, Hillary is getting a might long in the tooth and won't be around forever). Watch now as the good doctor takes flight.

He accuses her of not even knowing there are three branches of government (from a public pronouncement she made). Try these. Barrack Obama once said he had visited "57 states." Bush said his administration never tires of finding ways to harm our country and its people. Trump said Belgium was a city and the Finns rake their forests. All four (counting AOC) dumb as dirt? Maybe. Then again, it might just be the tendency for individuals to misspeak?

He goes after what he considers her Machiavellian ways, the gist of which: she acts friendly toward people she believes are friendly toward her; she admits to mistakes; she won't take guf from people who don't like her. I don't know, doc, sounds like a well-adjusted adult to me.

There's more: She is accused of being anti-capitalist when what she is opposed to is vulture capitalism -- and the role big money plays in influencing our elections. She wants the Electoral College abolished, an institution that, thanks to Trump's election, has outlived its usefulness. Which reminds me: It sounds somewhat Machiavellian, my good doctor, when you say this would lead to "unbridled majoritarianism." Don't you mean, democracy? Why not say it?

Our doctor friend knows an enemy when he sees one; I will give him that. But let's be honest in our attacks and skip the character assassination. I will take her willfulness and inexperience any day over the fallacious reasoning of conservatives.

Francis Thomas Poldiak, Erie, Pennsylvania (formerly of Denmark)

Thanks for Battle of Badges

No matter the season, the need for blood is constant. Local first responders see firsthand how important it is to have blood readily available when there is an emergency.

There’s a chance you may know someone who has been helped by a blood transfusion. Blood and platelet donations are often used in the treatment of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant recipients, and those being treated for cancer or sickle cell disease.

On Jan. 11, the American Red Cross Central S.C. chapter partnered with the Orangeburg Sheriff’s Office and Orangeburg Department of Public Safety to help save lives through blood donations. The first Battle of the Badges in the county collected 39 units of blood with the potential to impact more than 100 lives in the local community and beyond. We’re grateful to all of those who donated in the competition to help ensure blood is available before it is needed.

On behalf of the Red Cross, I want to thank everyone who responded to the call and rolled up a sleeve to give the gift of life at the Orangeburg Battle of the Badges. About an hour of your donated time could lead to a lifetime of memories for patients in need.

Rebecca Jordan

Executive Director

Central S.C. Chapter

American Red Cross

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