Cliche 'left' labels mask lazy reasoning

According to Saturday's Free Press editorial page, Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly is "left-leaning," a cliched pejorative apparently intended to terrify public officials lest they be similarly slurred.

At ease, city government employees. Mr. Kelly is not a toxic spreader of suspicious politics. Remember that cliches are lame substitutes for sound reasoning.

Frankly, I never thought that there were "right" and "left" ways to pave streets, collect garbage, fight fires or keep the city safe with professional policing, among other vital services.

It's unclear from the editorial whether our "left-leaning" mayor is just one of many suspects in city government. If so, should City Council members investigate? Maybe — but clearly those who might share the mayor's purported "ideology" must be required to abstain.

Perhaps the 1960s-era Chad Mitchell Trio was on to something with its (slightly paraphrased) song about the John Birch Society:

Oh, we're meetin' at [City Hall] at eight o'clock tonight

You just walk in the door and take the first turn to the right

Be careful when you get there, we hate to be bereft

But we're taking down the names of everybody turning left.

Michael Loftin


Liberal papers, pols should leave the South

I got a big chuckle out of a recent Chattanooga Times editorial calling for Gov. Bill Lee to "opt out." Who did you have in mind who could beat him? Humpty Dumpty? Jack-in-the-Box? You want sarcasm? This is mine.

Also, according to Sen. Rand Paul, a board-certified ophthalmologist, cloth masks are useless because coronavirus particles are small enough to penetrate the weave of the fabric. Are schools going to furnish the N95 versions? What would that cost? Who would pay for that?

And as for your bumper sticker suggestion, I have a better one: "Let's get liberal newspapers out of the South and the liberal Democratic politicians who go with them."

And don't forgot there's an election in 15 months. And you are in a state that's much further to the right than when I lived there 30 years ago.

Charles Hyder, Dalton, Georgia


Hypocrisy abounds in GOP, anti-vaxers

Anti-vaxers, anti-maskers and the Republican Party can no longer claim they are pro-life. Their total disregard for public health, children's health (in some cases their own children), and refusal to get vaccinated or wear a mask have led to thousands of people getting sick and dying.

All this suffering we have endured could have been prevented.

And the argument that making an informed choice about your own body should not be controversial. Really?

Does that apply to a woman's right to choose? You don't want the government to mandate masks, but the government denying women reproductive rights is all about protecting "innocent babies."

Take a look around, there are innocent children and babies being put in harm's way because their parents refuse to do what's necessary to protect them from a malignant virus.

The hypocrisy is incomprehensible.

Rebecca Rochat