Though we are constantly told that we need to read widely on “all sides” of current issues, I often wonder why I waste my time reading columns written by Trump apologists like John Balentine. These columnists invariably trade in logical errors, red herrings, propaganda, distractions from core issues and other tools used by right-wing propagandists throughout history –and with unprecedented regularity in our present-day political environment.

Balentine’s recent opinion piece (“Presidential profanity is just plain B.S.”, Forecaster, Oct. 25), proved to be more of the same. While he appeared to offer a mild rebuke to Trump’s use of profanity in a recent speech, his column totally ignored the difference between profanity and the obscenity of Trump’s presidency to date.

To list just a few of these obscenities: the daily false or misleading claims (some would say lies) – now topping 13,000 and counting – told by Trump and his corrupt administration since taking office in 2017; the use of hate speech, dog whistles, racist tropes, etc., to further divide our country; drawing moral equivalencies between white supremacists and anti-racist demonstrators; the separation of families and placing children in cages; rolling back environmental standards and withdrawal from the Paris agreement – placing the lives of our children and grandchildren at extreme risk; collaborating with foreign entities and enemies (read: Ukraine, Russia) for political gain; obstructing justice, including congressional and legal inquiries into the administration’s illegal activities; betraying longtime allies (the Kurds) in the fight against ISIS.

Focusing on profanity while ignoring the big picture of the proliferation of obscenities perpetrated by the Trump administration, Balentine takes yet another page out of the also obscene playbook of today’s Republican Party.

Robert C. Foster
South Portland