Jenni White’s letter “Just following orders” in the Aug. 4 Gazette is a withering critique of Saul Alinsky’s views. By putting Alinsky’s words into my mouth and then attacking them as if I had said them is a logical fallacy called a straw-man argument. It isn’t that “truth really isn’t relevant to (me),” it’s just that I have enough dedication to the truth not to resort to false arguments.
If you check out Wikipedia’s “Fallacy” entry at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacies, there are a whole list of bad argument structures to avoid. I never called White or Al Gerhart, president of Sooner Tea Party, racist. Mark Williams, a Tea Party Express member and talk show radio host with a large following who is often invited to speak at rallies (I think that makes him a leader?), is a racist. Some of White’s fellow Tea Party members seem to agree with me. Further, you and Gerhart are not the whole Tea Party.
The saddest thing about her letter is that she proves my point. She wants to paint me as the enemy so badly that she cannot step back from her right-wing fantasy long enough to even address the main point of my letter. The main point of the letter was that the Tea Party’s divisive tone and co-opting of our national heritage is doing actual harm to our nation!
At least I will give these two the courtesy of engaging what they said directly. I would like to say that someday, White and I could at least be “frenemies.” At this point, if White has a blacklist, I want to be on it.
“John R. Junger III