Berks County with a Right Hook has simply jumped the shark. From the constant attacks on one man, a local wannabe politician named Stefan Kosikowski, to the bashing of Reading Mayor Tom McMahon for no real reason, to the repeated blaming of the Reading Eagle for everything wrong in Berks County, it's simply gone off the deep end. There is certainly a place for conservative viewpoints in the blogsphere, and especially on a local level, but the vitrol and character assassination simply isn't needed and only ends up distorting the message. This blog touches on Berks County issues from time to time, but so much of its time is taken up with sports that another blog is needed, somewhere, to talk about political issues in Berks County. If anyone has a link to one, from any viewpoint, that is smart and chooses to limit itself from attacking people, float a link in the comments section.
And this bit about liberals in Berks County….where? Where is this big liberal establishment? The Democrats in Berks County are not, for the most part, liberals, nor do they espouse liberal viewpoints on several matters. And there's nothing wrong with this except that the proprietor of the Right Hook blog seems to believe that supposed liberals are supposedly bringing down Berks County economically, culturally and politically. Does the online editor of the Reading Eagle newspaper really have all that much influence? And does anything he writes actually insult anyone, besides President Bush? Does him tackling such issues as pork in Berks County constitute liberal bias, or some common liberal strain in Berks County?
I say no, after having lived in Philadelphia for 4 years, and after growing up in Berks County. Liberalism in Berks County is constrained to pet issues, not over-arching philosophies, and Democrats in Berks County are of the union/blue collar strain which believe in worker's rights and a government which is in a position to improve the quality of life in regards to streets and individual freedoms, not a government that stresses social policies. There's simply been too much of a PA Dutch Lancaster-esque work ethic ideal ingrained in the minds of many people for any 'liberal' establishment to take form, or try to put forth policies which Right Hook fears.
Then there's this business of what a liberal actually is, and what they actually strive for…which is not the same as communism. Right Hook makes little distinction between the two, blurring the lines between them in order to character assassinate certain people. It's simply unbecoming, and wrong.
Now, it is time for some disclosure. I am a registered Democrat in Berks County, and have been for several years now. I voted for John Kerry (D), Mike O'Pake (D), Lois Murphy (D), and Arlen Specter (R). I have interned for Lois Murphy, running for the United States House, for several months now, and intend to vote for her. She can be aptly described as liberal on most issues, and I could be described as perhaps more moderate than her, but concerned with environmental, land use, and city issues above most else. The people that are largelly concerned with these issues are Democrats. So, does that make me a liberal? You can decide for yourself, but to assume that I will then seek to influence Berks County politics in a bad way because of someone else's label of my politics is quite a leap.
Liberals are not bad. Liberalism isn't either. But Berks County doesn't have much of either. There are Democrats and there are Republicans, mostly. These are people with a lot of similar viewpoints on a lot of similar issues, with only party and the urban/rural divide within the county to distinguish the gradations in their viewpoints. Right Hook can be a funny blog written by what seems like a decent guy, and yet can also have some of the vilest character assassinations I've read. Please stop jumping sharks, or I'll have to get the Fonz after you!