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posted: 3/24/2014 5:01 AM

Use logic, reason -- not attacks on writers

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In his March 5 letter, James Prescott argues that a reinstatement of the military draft would instill in our citizens a better sense of community and responsibility. He opens his letter with a "drive-by" style statement accusing those opposed to minimum wage increases, voter fraud and Obamacare as selfish racists. He offers no evidence for these accusations, but rather levels them with an incomprehensible leviathan of straw man arguments and other obvious fallacies. These are the tired and transparent tactics of someone trying to avoid a debate rather than engage in one -- label your opponent as morally suspect, therefore rendering his/her political position as ethically untenable and beneath discussion.

Mr. Prescott, your recent letters deride your political opponents as "stupid" (Oct. 13), and "half- baked" (Dec. 17), whose political positions represent "idiocy" and "Kool-Aid generated babblings" (Jan. 22) and "displays of ignorance" (July 15). Surely you must know these ad hominem attacks won't win people over to your side. For your next letter, I suggest you make reasoned, logical arguments rather than hurling grade school playground insults.

Any possible reinstatement of the draft, I would argue, is a terrible idea. Forcing people into the military will no more instill a sense of selflessness and responsibility than will forcing people to buy health insurance. Mr. Prescott likes to remind readers that he is a veteran. I am a veteran as well, and I think if this nation cannot produce enough volunteers to join the military, then this nation no longer deserves the freedoms we currently enjoy.

Mr. Prescott, just because you disagree with me doesn't mean I think you're "stupid." It means we have different suggestions for attaining the same societal goals. If educated citizens of a free republic happen to disagree on certain issues, is that necessarily a bad thing?

Christopher Skeet

Buffalo Grove

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