Letters to the Editor

Greg Bruhn: The Helms technique

During the late 1960s, WRAL-TV featured editorials presented by Jesse Helms on a segment entitled “Viewpoint.” Helms would frequently invoke words and phrases like “communism,” “communist plot,” “communist conspiracy,” “socialism,” “welfare” and “liberalism” with consistent, predictable monotony. Anyone or any organization that did not share his conservative ideas was fair game for his criticism and slanted observations. He was a master of painting those whose ideology differed with his by using the same “one size fit all” paint brush approach.

A contributor to the Jan. 12 “EPA rules” community conversation used the Helms technique by suggesting that people favoring EPA are “liberal communists” and “forcing hard-working Americans onto welfare” with the intent of converting them into “liberal wimps.”

I would like to suggest that China, a communist country, has no EPA or its equivalent and is an example of what happens when environmental regulations are weak, nonexistent,or unenforced. Human-created pollution has reduced visibility to near zero at times in some Chinese cities. The air in some locations is so filthy that inhaling it during the course of a day produces the same effect as smoking cigarettes. The future availability of quality potable water is uncertain due to widespread water pollution.

Greg Bruhn