A Letter to Rep. Joseph Walsh, Illinois’ 8th Congressional District

Under the circumstances I felt compelled to leave a reply that would articulate the proposition that elections should be about the issues and not personalities. What should be discussed debated in any election are the candidates’ platforms. I prefaced my remarks by acknowledging Ms. Duckworth’s military service and personal sacrifices made on behalf of our country. I carefully and respectfully laid out the argument that the campaign should not revolve around Ms. Duckworth, the soldier. My comment completely dismantled Mr. Ostroy’s arguments in favor of the representative needs of the residents of the 8th CD. Because my comment was so thorough I was surprised when Mr. Ostroy, himself, responded to what I had written with a short self-serving quip. Representing the liberalism of today which lacks the intellectual base of days gone by, Mr. Ostroy again leaped off point, ridiculed you and me, and challenged me to an intellectual fencing match. I accepted; scored sufficient points to win the match. I think the French say-touché! I suggest that you read the comment threads starting about 17:30:42 of July 6, 2011 and forward as applicable.

Huffington Post’s policy requires that all comments be monitored before they are posted (published) to its site. I am sure that Mr. Ostroy was only too happy to approve and publish the following comment by JMilton1976 JMilton1976  on Jul 10, 2012, 1:44:25 which was nothing more than a personal attack me:

“You are a sheep in wolves clothing. Anybody who would call themselves a “new age Republican” is scum of the highest order. The fact that you write well and consider yourself an intellectual is an example of your true danger. If you are actually intelligent and you buy into the republican hate machine, you understand the malice of your position. You are the worst kind of human..smart enough to know better, greedy enough to not care.”

As you can see I have become fair game in your campaign battle with Ms. Duckworth. Between you and me I consider this to be an honor. The strange thing is that I did not support your candidacy in any of my comments. I simply expressed my support for your argument that the election should not revolve around Ms. Duckworth’s military career.

It is obvious that you are correct in insisting that the 8th CD election be about the issues, the candidates’ platforms and not a salute to Ms. Duckworth’s service record. Unfortunately your arguments are falling upon uneducated and deaf ears. In the past Liberal Democrats were driven by a coherent and clear intellectual approach to analyzing the issues and debating solutions. These ancient Democrats believed in the American principle that candidates for elective office should focus on the issues and not cults of personality. The offspring of these storied Liberal Democrats lack the education and success of their parents. They are resentful of anyone who is successful and educated and hold a contrary view to theirs.  These neophytes have developed the all-consuming mentality of  “us against them” as a their rallying point.

Proverbially speaking one cannot fence with someone who does not have a foil in their hands. This fact does not prevent one from winning the match. A victory by default is none-the-less a win in the record books. I propose that you only fight the battles that warrant your attention and are worth the expenditure of energy. Your detractors, which have miraculously become mine, are trying to bait you into flailing away into a political blunder. Your most ardent detractors will never subscribe to your version of American civics. They represent a large segment of Americans who have difficulty accepting contrary viewpoints. I find that having a logical and courteous debate with members of this segment is nearly impossible. Though it maybe difficult to imagine, Mr. Ostroy is a much admired intellectual leader of this group of disillusioned Americans.

Some of your supporters may say that I have no right to suggest how you should run your campaign. They would be correct in pointing out that I am not even a resident of Illinois. Also you might be told that since we have never met I should not presume how you think. I could continue to list the possible arguments in favor of ignoring this letter. Yet, the plain truth is; I am correct.

My advice is freely given without any strings attached. In my opinion you should continue the campaign without mentioning Ms. Duckworth’s military service. You have the superior intellect and it should be used to run a disciplined campaign. The record should clearly show that only Ms. Duckworth and her supporters have mentioned her service in the military. I believe that you can embrace her celebrity status while steadily moving the campaign towards a debate of the real issues.


Paul H. Jones

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