Columnist proves ignorance in bashing of liberal ideologies


Have you ever heard of a concept called "knocking down straw dummies?" It occurs when some one sets up a weak pretense of an opposing argument and then triumphantly disproves it to support his own hypothesis. I have noticed John Keisling is quite fond of this technique of argument. In his latest attack on all things liberal ("Liberals lose on 'Reality Check,'" Nov. 8), he has taken the style to a new low.

In the past I have tolerated his misrepresentations of "liberal" arguments on everything from gay rights to atheism because at least he was making a point. He has now unglamorously and banally crossed the line from arguing socially relevant issues to bashing entire ideologies he apparently doesn't understand all that well. By choosing to ridicule the most radical aspects of liberalism he could think of, and then logically (at least in his mind) winning a battle against the entire school of thought, Keisling has proved nothing but his own ignorance.

I fail to see the audience he was attempting to reach. Was it his dittohead buddies who would get a hearty laugh out of it? Certainly it wasn't the vast majority of "liberals," who scarcely resemble his game show contestants and who see right through his charade. If it is converts he is trying to win, maybe an actual argument backed by even-handed representations of facts, would be a better approach.

I have read with interest all of Keisling's columns this year, and I hope he continues to write them. I only hope he can make them a bit more informative and intellectually stimulating than "Well, who did Keisling bash today?" I think it's time John Keisling had a "Reality Check."

Christie Peterson

Anthropology/Journalism Sophomore

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