I am reminded again of one of the principles of intelligent debate: to treat your opponent with respect and refute his opinion with logic.
That is why it saddened me to see two conservatives (presumably Republicans) use words like “traitor” and “undermine victory” on Feb. 21 (the conservative column and a letter to the editor) without backing them up with any kind of argument.
Words like these carry strong connotations and even strong literal meanings. For this reason, they should not be used lightly as part of a general debate, but should be rigorously proven and, in the case of treason, brought to a court of law.
Flinging words like these around simply to smear your opponent renders the rest of your argument meaningless, detracting even from those that argue the same point for legitimate reasons.
For this reason, I hope that conservatives who want their ideas to be respected in an intelligent debate, composed of reason instead of insults, will begin their arguments by repudiating these slanders that sap the sense from their own arguments.
I also hope that they can restrain themselves to refuting the actual arguments of the liberals (with whom I happen to stand on the war debate) instead of assigning opinions like “surrender” or “defeat-o-crats” to them.
Intelligent debate will only work when they argue against our actual position that the war was started on lies and has been horribly mismanaged, instead of trying to refute the notion of surrender that no one supports.
Aerospace engineering senior