Bloomberg Opinion columnist Ramesh Ponnuru, in his Aug. 10 op-ed, decries the action of Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, who published the names of Trump contributors in his district, which includes El Paso. Ponnuru says that “in our current political environment the effects could include harassment and even violence” against the people named.

Sure, maybe. But Ponnuru does not speak more broadly against those who created this environment, including President Trump, who has called Mexican migrants “rapists” and who famously offered to pay legal costs for people who assaulted protesters at one of his rallies. Instead, Ponnuru lectures on journalism standards and, for some reason, claims that American Nazis are “not very dangerous at all,” neither of which gets to the point.

The point is that in our post-Citizens United world, political money is political speech, and those who speak out should be willing to be named.

Our own Press Herald requires and verifies the names of letter writers, and somehow that’s not a problem.

Harry Truman long ago advised that people who can’t take the heat should stay out of the kitchen. It’s still true today. People should not expect that they can influence politics and hide in the dark.

Joe O’Donnell


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