After reading John Balentine’s latest anti-Democrat rant, “Smile, you’re an American,” I suggest he follow his own advice. His utter disdain for that party is already well-known from many previous editorials filled with criticisms and complaints, yet he chooses to lecture Democrats about the very things he and his own chosen political party are similarly guilty of.

First of all, his claim the “Democrats do nothing but complain about America” is little more than a hollow, lazy right wing talking point. Mr. Balentine clearly has amnesia regarding the administration that preceded this one, which consisted of eight years of unrelenting attempts to discredit that president. Did he have any issues with the publicly stated Republican goal of doing everything possible to ensure that the Democrat in office be nothing more a one-term president? I didn’t see much patriotism there, nor was it evident in their ongoing failed birther movement and other schemes to discredit Obama’s legitimacy and his work for his entire eight years.

Painting Democrats as America-hating complainers may make him feel better about supporting our current president, who has his own name-calling, crude and undignified approach to what has historically been a position of respect and honor, but it does not pass the straight face test. Politics can be an ugly business. Neither party is innocent of acting in regrettable ways, but Mr. Balentine’s one-sided prejudiced critiques are unhelpful and without merit. Criticism is one thing, but perhaps he should try offering solutions instead of simply jumping on the “Democrats hate America” bandwagon. Democrats love America just as much as Republicans do. It’s OK to choose the side you agree with, but to demonize and vilify the other side is not going to get us anywhere. Ironically, this is exactly what the author is doing, while complaining about the fact that it’s happening. If we’re going to change all of this negativity, we need to do better.

Andrew Pal
Windham