MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP – Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo said that a recent letter to the editor by ex-Middletown Mayor Tom Hall is out of line.
“In his letter, Mr. Hall questioned the patriotism of Middletown Committeeman Patrick Short because he did not say the words to the Pledge of Allegiance at Committee meetings,” Caliendo said.
Caliendo characterized Hall’s remarks as “outlandish,” given the fact that Short is a West Point graduate who retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving more than 20 years on Active Duty in his nation’s uniform.
“Patriotism isn’t something that is measured by how loud you say a pledge, or making sure that you put a bumper sticker on your car. Patriotism is about service, and I would stack Mr. Short’s commitment and service to his nation, in the service and out, against Mr. Hall’s any day. Of course, I am unsure if Mr. Hall ever served his country in the Armed Services. While I do not think that should be held against anyone, if someone does not, I certainly do think that serving in the Army for a whole career makes a statement too. He is a patriot, and that is that,” Caliendo said.
Caliendo said that he believes Hall’s attack was based on the fact that Mr. Short is a Democrat. “I spoke to a Republican once and asked him, ‘Why does your party insist on character assassination and lies as a way to campaign?’ He responded that it is done because it works.”
Caliendo said that holding someone accountable to their official actions and problems with public service is expected. “But, there has to be a better way to go than outright lies,” Caliendo concluded.