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June 28, 2013

Writer should have made arguable points

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Perhaps it is old-fashioned to expect editorial space to be used for making arguable points rather than name calling, but that is my expectation.

I was disappointed to see that Guy Melton used his space June 21 as a forum to call President Obama names. He picked out a few words like Benghazi, debt, homosexual and socialist, removed them from any identifiable context and used them as epithets. The possibility that arguments could and should have been made for each specific point doesn’t seem to have crossed his mind.

NSA, for one. From the tone of the letter, I assume that he believes that domestic surveillance was acceptable under the Bush administration but incipient totalitarianism under Obama. Or perhaps Mr. Melton fears that this is systemic threat to government. There is no way for the reader to know.

Socialism. I don’t understand why Mr. Melton believes the president is a socialist, nor do I understand why he disapproves. I was raised in the confines of what I consider a great bastion of American socialism and social mobility that we know as the United States Air Force. My father was a career officer and I spent my childhood on military bases. In the early ’60s we lived on Whiteman AFB outside of Knob Knoster, Mo.  

 The military is an actual melting pot with people of different races and religions mingling freely. On the base, a black officer and close neighbor was valued for his wit and intelligence — not so much off base.

My father and his fellow officers canceled an office party they’d scheduled at a bowling alley when informed that the owner wouldn’t allow a black officer in service of his country in his club. No doubt my father’s friend, who I recall as a gracious and dignified individual, suffered other indignities, but I’m not aware of them. He didn’t complain.

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