To the Editor:

I miss the days when I used to be able to have normal political conversations with anyone. No matter our differing opinions, we always walked away happy about a good spirited debate. No more. Ever since George Bush created his demarcation of, "You're with us or you're against us," too many conservatives have taken that position to heart.

No gray areas, and all liberals/ democrats/lefties are the enemy.

For those of you familiar with my previous letters over the past few years, they generally have a simple under-text, which is that conservatives too often just parrot what they hear on right-wing TV /radio, or read on the web or various newsletters. There often seems to be no thought about what they have been told. This takes the view of President Obama as a Kenyan and/or a Muslim; that the new health law includes death panels, or that liberals just want to destroy America.

They hold the Constitution up as the be all end all, unless of course Liberals are on the winning side, such as when the Supreme Court recently upheld the legality of the new health law. It's brought to its absolute glory when senior citizens, who are of course on Medicare, protest that they want the government to stay out of their health insurance.

This brings me to my long-running debate in these pages with Perry Green. I have often pointed out that his letters to the newspaper were just re-wordings, and in one instance a word-for-word copy, of what you will find on many right-wing web sites. In his last letter, he claimed not to have read a right-wing web site in years, so I'll change my accusation to him copying what he read in a newsletter or heard on the radio. I just can't imagine how a person can read a 6 volume biography of Thomas Jefferson, and then pick out the exact 6 quotes that are often at the top of conservative lists of Jefferson quotes. It's just disingenuous to claim someone else's words as your own.

Now, regarding his comments to me in his last letter; I never read conservative web sites. I only type into a search engine the words that Mr. Green writes, and lo and behold quite often, numerous websites pop up with the same or extremely similar words. Secondly, Mr. Green did not properly read or comment on my point about Jefferson's study of history.

I said that the history Jefferson was studying was from "pre-modern democracy governments from the 16th and 17th centuries." Mr. Green took my words out of context to make it seem as though I didn't know that Jefferson lived in the 1700s and 1800s. Obviously, if someone is a student of history in the mid-1700s to early 1800s, then he is learning about what went on in the 1500s and 1600s. I stand by my point that since he was a student of pre-modern democracy, then it is hard to live in the 21st century with those same ideas and levels of morality. There is nothing wrong with believing that since our Constitution was written in such a different time, then it's okay to update the laws and rules by which we live. Otherwise, slavery would still be okay, women wouldn't be allowed to vote, and so many of the other rights and privileges that most of us enjoy today would not exist.

Think for yourself, stop believing everything that right-wing media puts forth as the "truth," understand that there can be gray areas, and stop thinking that liberals are out to destroy our country. I look forward to the day that I can once again have a proper discussion with someone from the "other side" without hating each other by the end.

Gary Fishkin Peru