2007-10-12 / Letters

Unsubstantiated Allegations

Dear Editor,

I understand that The Progressive is upset by the current President of The United States. The Progressive should understand that the repetition of unsubstantiated allegations and uncritical use of inflammatory language does not constitute rational argument.

To state that President Bush did not receive a majority of the popular vote in 2000 (although he did in 2004), while overlooking the fact that President Clinton was elected twice without a majority of the popular vote, shows the weakness of that type of argument. Electoral rules are what they are. Inaccurate language, such as referring to contracted cleaners, cooks and other support personnel as "troops" is another way to seek approval for a poor argument. Phrases such as "it is reported," "often I read reports," "some sociologists estimate" and our "esteemed scientists" are mealy mouthed attempts to sway a reader without resorting to fact or reason.

These rhetorical devices are historically the refuge of protesters, whose attachment to disagreement has overcome reason. When used in recent history, the technique of reiteration of unsubstantiated attacks has been called McCarthyism or the "Big Lie" when used by Nazi Germany.

If Culotta wants to engage in civil discourse, he should moderate his tone and increase his fact content.


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