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Your Opinion: Debate issues; avoid personal attacks

Your Opinion: Debate issues; avoid personal attacks

September 21st, 2011 by Robert Haslag, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Regretfully contributors in previous weeks have focused upon recurring denigration of my personal character. Messrs. Brown and Sampson seem almost as intent upon proving me a liar as in supporting their individual theses. Mr. Horstmann, as previously addressed, fills his entry with accusations that I am just another liberal, socialist Democrat who will destroy this country.

Simply, the problems we address as a society and nation are too important to be wasting time broadcasting personal libels and poisonous characterizations of policy opponents. It is sad that logic and honest debate on policy have deteriorated to personal ridicule and equating the opposition with evil. This is an absolutely waste of energy and time.

I bear none of these gentlemen any ill will. I disagree with them substantively and passionately on any number of issues and feel that I can present honest and factual arguments justifying my propositions. I present those propositions as concisely and forthrightly as possible within my allotted space, but disagreement does not define them as enemies. Whether they believe it or not, my fondest hope and wish is that America's policies and programs should redound to the ultimate benefit of all, including the Horstmanns, Browns and Sampsons.

I lament that one or all will respond that they don't need my liberal, socialist Democratic sympathy and the country would be better off if I just got out of the way. Unless any of them earns more than $250,000, it is my intent to protect their health, wealth and well-being. They can rage against me as they wish, but I stand on the facts I have presented.

Mr. Sampson's last rebuttal alleges Reagan and Tip O'Neill "did not get along." A Washington Post article of January 18, 2011, cites an O'Neill staff member, ribbing President Reagan while in Speaker O'Neill's Ceremonial Office prior to a State of the Union Address. The staff member joked the room was where Democrats "plot against you."

Reagan's response was, "Oh, no, not after six. The speaker says that here in Washington we're all friends after six." Our societal fabric depends upon such foundations.

Finally, Mr. Sampson's justification for confirming my deceit is my reference that Reagan "tripled the national debt," thus misrepresenting the exact figures.

My Aug. 3 letter specifically states," Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush accumulated $3.134 trillion in debt."

Again, Mr. Sampson, it is best to have all the facts first.