Sunday, June 25, 2006

Things Change

I wrote a letter to the editor of our conservative paper in Florida a few years ago:
In a Dec. 2 editorial, liberal federal judges were likened to al-Qaida "'sleepers,' waiting to spring into action when the right cause appears."

The editorial otherwise logically and intelligently attempted to make a point, but stooped to a tactic that should not be fostered or remain unchallenged in any venue.

It is called the fallacy of association, attempting to discredit the opponent by associating him with a generally hated group or concept. If comparing President Bush's motivations for war to Adolf Hitler's is repugnant, so should comparing liberal federal judges to al-Qaida operatives.

Civil society relies on open debate and respect for dissenters. Marginalization and demonization of political opponents confounds the environment of civil discourse, inflames the emotions, diverts from logical argument, and frustrates efforts at effective and meaningful communication.

And then I became a blogger.

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