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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Debate is one thing; attacks are another

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That dark cloud moving across the political landscape isn't the remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac, it's the incredibly cynical slash-and-burn tactics of the political hard left. It's striking how ad hominem the left's attacks have become. I'm not talking about attacks from the outer fringe, but rather from party leaders and the candidates themselves. Make no mistake, the right has some elements that are out there, too, but the left has more fringe than a vintage flapper dress.

If you're trying to tell me that the Tea Party is the American Taliban, or there's a Republican "war on women" in play, just go away. You're intellectually vapid. You're incapable of understanding issues and what the other side is about. On the other hand, if you want to debate with facts, or in their absence, reasonable, supportable opinions, have at it. I'm ready to engage.

I happen to be pro-choice (with reasonable restrictions), but I'm not obtuse enough to think that those who hold the opposite view are women-hating Nazis. Why? Because I can see that it is perfectly sane for one to consider, whether for religious reasons or other reasons, that the sanctity of a human life trumps all. It's not outrageous to want to protect a completely helpless and vulnerable fetus. In fact, it's pretty noble.

Similarly, I fully support one's right to contraception. But I don't deem those who might have a different view on the matter to be misogynists. Why? Because I recognize that some are informed by their religion, which happens to propound such a belief.

If you're a believer in big government and think you can support that view with facts and figures, terrific. I respect your opinions, and I'm ready to hear your thoughts and share mine. But if you think Mitt Romney, a guy who has been a tireless, lifelong giver to his community and church, a person who has consistently put women in positions of power, and a man who believes strongly in lifting up the lower and middle classes through pro-business capitalism, is anti-women or "out to get" the less fortunate, don't waste my time or yours. You shouldn't be worried about voter-ID laws; you should be deeply concerned about a voter-IQ law.

CHUCK DIETRICK

Presto, Pa.

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