Letter to the editor: Refraining from ad hominem attacks promotes civil debate | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Refraining from ad hominem attacks promotes civil debate

Maarten Meinders

I was encouraged that Bruce Menzel’s letter to the editor, pushing back on the critics of Linda Harmon’s opinion piece about the Come to the Table group, refrained from using ad hominem attacks. That goes a long way in having a civil debate about the issues of the day. I was glad that he refrained from using phrases like “right-wing temper tantrums,” “hyper-sensitive … snowflakes,” anti-vaxxers, “delusional” letter writers and “dog-whistles,” like David Scott did in his recent letter.

In that same spirit of civility, I just want to respectfully disagree with some of Menzel’s points. He stated that the survey question “Do you feel that the Constitution is relevant in today’s society” is a “gotcha question.” Not really, the answer is (hopefully) yes. It is that simple. A gotcha question would be, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

The reason that question is relevant is because there is ample reason to believe many far-left people do not believe the Constitution is relevant today, especially when it comes to the First and Second amendments. The rampant Big Tech censorship going on is proof of this. What is the purpose of free speech when it only applies to those you agree with?

Menzel also feels that the question, “Yes or No: Summit School District’s test scores have improved over the last two years,” is a “leading question.” Again, I respectfully disagree. You can simply answer the question. A leading question would sound something like: “Wouldn’t you agree that the test schools have declined dismally over the last two years?”

I would guess that most surveys about the hot issues of the day will be perceived as one-sided by at least 50% of the population. That does not mean that they are “nonsensical.”

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