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Thanks to Hal Crowther 

As always, Hal Crowther shows us his journalistic skill by crafting an intelligent and factual assessment that puts words to the screaming in my head ("The elephants in the room," Feb. 13). Keep it coming.

In a reply published Feb. 20 ("Crowther: Preaching to the choir about Republicans," Back Talk), Peter Aitken berates Crowther for "preaching to the choir" and presenting a "shrill, scolding and insulting tone," but then admits the column "has the facts right."

After voters elected George W. Bush for a second term, I stopped deluding myself that polite talk and reasoned argument would somehow "change their opinions (and votes)," as Aitken puts it. We are dealing with a voter profile than needs to learn the hard truth from direct experience, because no amount of polished journalism will penetrate a Republican base that its own leaders think is "even dumber." 

For Aitken then to accuse Crowther of being "no different from those such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter" is just what Fox News (fair and balanced) loves to hear: that the "right," which the essay describes, actually has a valid point of view and that moderates have bought into the fallacy that all opinions should have merit.

Our prostituted, for-profit political system has found what works. That is: Never underestimate the power of a large number of stupid people acting together.

For the most part, voters can't handle the truth.

Peter Childers
Mebane

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