As a former Brainerd area resident, I continue to stay current on events in the Brainerd lakes area through reporting in the Internet edition of the Brainerd Dispatch, and most specifically enjoy the Reader Opinion section as it continues to provide me with a feel for the pulse of the area.
I am dismayed, however, by the number of politically-oriented letters that contain grievous errors and misinformation in an effort to sway readers toward one presidential candidate or the other.
The latest of these (a criticism of Obama in this specific instance) is in the Oct. 14 edition, in which a writer states that President Obama has issued 923 executive orders to date as an end-around in an effort to circumvent Congress, and that, by way of comparison, executive order issuance from FDR through GWB averaged only 10 per President. A quick Internet search of the Federal Register will show that FDR alone issued 3,522 such orders, with the average per president (differing lengths of terms, of course) being 624; even absent FDR’s excessive quota, the average was still a significant 360 executive orders per president. Obama has actually signed 138 orders to date, the lowest of any president within the referenced period other than GWB’s second term level of 118 — his first term being 173.
The false information the writer forwarded has been circulating in recent political emails — and is emblematic of the patently false and stupefyingly sophomoric not-for-attribution political emails that continue to make the rounds, apparently believed by many, with the substance, or lack thereof, further incorporated into local letters to the editor. Apparently the truth about Obama is not sufficiently negative, so that we on the right — yes, I am a conservative — must fabricate falsehoods, then criticize Obama for the very falsehoods we have just created.
Fact-checking is available to most everyone; we have won a hard fought right to open and free debate in this country — it is a travesty to continue to abuse it in such fashion.
Robert R Lindberg
Bonita Springs, FL