The Times 

Columbia County Conservative Objects


October 14, 2021


In regards to the Times’ 10/7 article “Port of Columbia candidate cuts ties with local conservative group”, it seems that your reporter has been wooed by the wild successes of the failing NY Times and decided to wear the hat of serial fabulist for the week. From the article:

“The group [Columbia County Conservatives], which has become known for its anti-vaccination and anti-masking rhetoric, has been regularly meeting at … [my place]”

Become known by whom? Did Stephen Glass whisper that into your reporter’s ear?  Or was it Jayson Blair? Jussie Smollet? Christine Blasey Ford? O.J.? To which of Beka Compton’s reliable sources did she turn to for last week’s gem?

The ideological perch of the reporter isn’t surprising or noteworthy– as we speak she’s polishing up all her best dark metaphors to cast a shroud (look, now she’s got me doing it!) over an upsetting election result were any of those ghastly anti-mask freaks to win. Not a big deal, that’s what mediocre reporters do. But what is supposed to happen is that the mediocre reporting only goes to print after the Editor has filtered out the complete rubbish.

There’s a comedian who does a bit on the preciseness of language, badly paraphrased as follows:

“Don’t think clarity is important? Think of the difference between peeing in the pool and peeing into the pool.”

This is a letter to the Editor, so I’m asking you– the Editor– this: When you read your reporter’s draft, and it said that a specific group “has become known for its anti-vaccination and anti-masking rhetoric”, and that sentiment was unquoted and even unattributed to anyone other than the proverbial NYT CYA BS of “has become known”, did it not perk your editorial ears just a little bit?  And then, did you not imagine what that would look like in reality?  Do you think the meetings out there (at Maco Aviation, near Huntsville) are just big pep rallies to get everybody into a froth so they go out and string up a bunch of masked/vaccinated people?  Take a minute and try to picture the ethos of this group of troglodytes, and do your damndest not to project yourself onto them. I’ll help you out– the resounding sentiment of someone in this group is not that they have an opinion one way or another about masks, vaccinations, or any combination of the two and your status in that surprisingly complex Venn diagram. It’s this: You do whatever you want to do. I’ll do whatever I want to do. We’ll get along swimmingly as long as we keep it that simple.

The truth is that you could walk into a Columbia County Conservative meeting (out there at Maco Aviation, near Huntsville) wearing full scuba gear and a body condom, with an IV gurney in tow and enough bags of vax to do an actual vaccine transfusion, and everybody would hear you out, answer your questions, and nobody would throw an ax at you.  It might get heated, but that’s how real conversations tend to go. My guess is that no one there harbors any great animus towards masks or vaccinations (I think many are vaccinated, haven’t asked, don’t care). They just don’t want Joe, Jay, or Jack Miller telling them when, where, and how much, and they certainly don’t need Beka Compton hectoring them from Tween Vogue about their “dangerous core beliefs” (what, independent thought? An opinion? The idea that the State doesn’t decide crucial health decisions for them?)

I think that masks, worn in the way they’ve become socially acceptable, are little more than an annoying, unhealthy placebo and an act of obeisance and encouragement to arbitrary power.  I think that the vaccine is a high pair in the hand of your opponent– your play is determined by what’s in your hand. I think that blue hair on a pretty girl is somehow sadder than some of the better-done war movies, and I think that bike helmets are probably more dangerous for kids than cigarettes. But all those things are just personal opinions and how you react to them are personal choices, and I’ll actually stand there with an ax (or I’d at least cheer on someone who actually would) and defend your right to exercise them if someone tells you you can’t.

I’ll also wield the ax, and perhaps higher power, when the three J’s tire of messing around with little sub-group mandates and just come right out and say “Screw it– you’re all getting the jab!”

So no, Lane and Beka and whoever else is running that show– we’re not anti mask or anti-vaccination…

We are anti-tyrant.

Clarity, ladies.

Seth Murdock

Maco Aviation, near Huntsville

Publisher’s note

Due to the nature of the letter submitted by Seth Murdock, The Times staff decided to print it in its entirety to ensure clarity. This is outside of our policy printed below under Reader's Forum, requiring letters to be under 400 words.

I published the article, “Port of Columbia candidate cuts ties with local conservative group,” in the October 7, 2021, edition of The Times. I stand by the article and the reporter who provided factual and relevant information for the upcoming election.


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