The nature of argument

John Hinderaker provides an example of one of the differences quite evident between sides in current political arguments. A Liberal Scrapes the Bottom of the Barrel.

Liberals pursue many policies that cause people to die. They release felons from prison, or never incarcerate them in the first place; they make war on the police, causing murder rates to spike; they impede the ability of pharmaceutical companies to bring life-saving drugs to market; they drive up the cost of energy, exposing the poor to dangerous temperature extremes; they promote gun-free zones that turn innocent people into sitting ducks; they pursue weak foreign policies that cause many thousands to be killed by tyrants and terrorists.

These are just a few obvious examples. Yet conservatives don’t call liberals murderers. We extend them the presumption of good faith. We debate policy, we don’t assert that liberals are pro-death. But liberals are not similarly fair-minded. The latest case in point is Josh Marshall, proprietor of TPM, who tweeted:

The example provided is a Tweet from Josh Marshall that proclaims that anyone against gun control is “pro-massacre.” This is right in line with anyone questioning climate change alarmism as being a science denier or nearly any of the accusations about being a racist. It is ad hominem and it cannot be excused as “both sides do it” because the pattern in its use is quite lopsided. The question is: how can you solve any social issue when up against such a lack of intellectual integrity?

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