News From Terre Haute, Indiana


October 20, 2012


Comments were mean, vicious

I was shocked, dismayed and angered by a letter in the Sunday Tribune-Star from Van W. Cottom. In it, he urges us all “to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s gentle voice” as we consider the candidates for president in the upcoming election.

He asserts that he himself is led by the Holy Spirit, a claim that I would hope to be true. He then indirectly claims that the Holy Spirit led him to a New York Times article about Mitt Romney in which Gov. Romney speaks favorably in 2007 of his association with a group of prominent Hispanic partners and investors at a dinner in Miami.

These people apparently invested in Mr. Romney’s company and provided him with valuable business advice over time. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Not to Van W. Cottom. In the next paragraph of his letter, he states that “When Romney launched another venture that needed funding — his first presidential campaign — he returned to Miami.” Did you get the import of that? He returned to Miami! Surely there’s something sinister going on here. Why else would he “return to Miami”? This “return to Miami” “raised some questions” for Mr. Cottom, “including what is the real financing source for his second run at the office?” (I thought he was talking about “his first presidential campaign.” Oh well.)

Mr. Van W. Cottom thereby implies that because these Hispanic businessmen invested in Mr. Romney’s company, they must therefore be “the real financing source” for his current presidential campaign. Quite a leap, I’d say. Mr. Van W. Cottom seems to be suggesting that Gov. Romney is violating federal election law, which makes foreign contributions illegal. Does he give us any facts to back this up? Does he give us anything that would tell us why he has these “questions”? No. Mr. Van W. Cottom seems to me to be following the standard Democratic National playbook, which calls for saying or doing anything to vilify and demonize the opponent, whether there is any truth to it or not. I wonder if he is really “led” to this behavior by the Holy Spirit?

By the way, I would inject at this point that the Obama campaign is currently under congressional investigation for alleged acceptance of and outright solicitation of foreign campaign contributions. You will likely never learn about this if you get all your news from the television networks and/or the newspapers — the so-called “mainstream media.”

After all of the above, Mr. Van W. Cottom was “led” to ask himself such things as whether Mr. Romney would favor “Americans of Latin American descent” and whether he would also favor Central America in jobs and importation of labor. Huh?

I find all of the above to be mean-spirited, vicious, dishonest and the product of a mindset that thinks nothing of destroying a person’s reputation for purely political reasons.

But Van W. Cottom was far from done.

He then asks, with absolutely no facts or evidence to back it up, whether the money from those “loyal Latin America friends” is “in any way beholden to the illegal drug trade.” What? Where in the world does this come from?

First of all, what money? So far, he hasn’t shown us any money, it has only existed in his skewed imaginary world. Second of all, if there was any money, why would he make the gigantic leap that, because it was Latin-American, it would have to be drug money? Is all Latin-American money derived from drug sales? Are all Latin-Americans drug dealers? Or is Van W. Cottom, in his crude way, trying to plant in us an idea of Mitt Romney that is so far from the truth that even the most uninformed among us would laugh at it?

Is Van W. Cottom really “led” to all of the above by the Holy Spirit? Not by the Holy Spirit I know.

— James E. Stephens, M.D.


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