First, Kurt Hochenauer (Commentary, “Not fit for fitness”), English professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, is worried because a fitness report recently ranked the Oklahoma City area as “dead last.” Could the problem be that many in OKC eat too much and exercise too little? Of course not. The problem is our lack of parks, swimming pools and tennis courts. The remedy is for the city to build more sidewalks and exercise trails.
As a personal trainer and former gym owner, I believe most people can maintain adequate fitness if they eat in moderation, exercise regularly and avoid unhealthy activities such as smoking. Personal responsibility will keep you a lot more fit than additional sidewalks or trails.
Secondly, Matt Atkinson (Letters, “McVay is correct”) asserts that liberals have to use words like “Fascist” and “Nazi” to “quote the things Glenn Beck says about people.” The problem with this statement is that both movements were primarily left wing. Merriam-Webster defines “fascism” as “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” This isn’t the viewpoint of people like Glenn Beck.
“Nazi” is a shortened version of “National Socialist.” According to Robert O. Paxton in “The Anatomy of Fascism,” the movement first appeared in France in 1911 as a club of intellectuals aimed “to unite nationalists and left-wing antidemocrats” to mount an attack on “Jewish capitalism.” It’s founder, George Valois, worked tirelessly to convert the working class away from Marxist-based internationalism to a more nation-based socialism. This, again, is not the view of Beck.
Finally, Brandon Wertz (Letters, “The gospel according to a ‘liberal’”) states that the word “progressive,” by its very name, implies progress, which is never bad. Hitler was a progressive who advocated change. Try telling 6 million dead Jews that change was progress.