Shrillness poor substitute for an argument

Published: October 13, 2013

In response to Lee Agnew (Your Views, Oct. 5): I'm more than a little tired of liberals assuming they understand the motives of conservatives. If we disagree with progressive ideas, it's assumed we're driven by hate, greed and malice for everyone except “corporations and the rich.” Is Agnew so self-deluded as to think that by virtue of his beliefs that he also is empowered to understand the hearts and minds of those who disagree with him?

This month the news was replete with shouts that Republicans don't want the poor to have health insurance (note the recurring ability to determine a conservative's motives). Is true? Is a vendetta against the poor what is driving opposition to Obamacare? Let me rephrase the argument. If it means destroying the health care industry, burdening the country with crushing new debt, raising taxes, rationing care, increasing insurance premiums — all the while believing that when the dust settles the poor will still be largely uninsured — then perhaps it's true that most Americans don't think the poor should have insurance, at least under this approach.

But since the only refuge of liberals seems to be that of impugning the motives of conservatives, instead of reasoning with them and trying to persuade them, I can only assume their positions are too weak to defend by legitimate efforts. As has been noted, “Shrillness is a sure sign of emptiness.”

Larry Simmons, Oklahoma City