It is with continuing sadness and frustration that I read letters like that from Richard Townsend (“Veterans’ needs should come before those of noncitizens,” June 19), where Mr. Townsend presents the often-repeated false choice between helping “us” and helping “them.”

Pitting vulnerable groups against each other is an expression of a false dichotomy, fomented by deeply cynical people with unchecked power and control of most public microphones. These logically false arguments are then repeated by unquestioning people like Mr. Townsend, acting as unwitting agents of propaganda, and amplifying the carefully crafted divisions between us.

Of course it is a stain on our culture that any are homeless, or go without health care only because of a lack of financial means. The low-quality thinking that pits veterans against those seeking asylum here is ironically of the same diseased thought-lineage used to justify such disparate “causes” as unjust wars, draconian immigration policies and bailouts and tax cuts for the already hyper wealthy. The source is always the same, as well.

Wise up, average Americans, and see the strategy behind these false narratives, which are nested deeply in our cultural discourse. We need to root them out, see our common struggle and work to form the just society we all richly deserve where those with means and fortune help those in need, because they are all “us” and it is the right thing to do in the cause of basic decency and the promise of ideals we claim to defend.

John Rogers

Portland


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