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Mischaracterizing facts defeats argument

Ryan Normandin’s opinion article last week, “Why moving farther right is so wrong,” was as intellectually dishonest as it was insulting.

Normandin routinely misrepresented facts. Two misled individuals, out of a group of over 5,500 spectators, booed at a gay soldier’s question at the third Republican debate. These two individuals somehow justified Normandin’s characterization of “the audience excitedly took part in booing.”

When the audience cheered a talking point on protecting individual freedom of choice in medical practice, Normandin once again took a shot at the audience by calling the response “[cheering] that the uninsured should be left to die.” These are just two of the many misrepresentations in an opinion article saturated with untruths.

When trying to make a point, I would encourage Normandin to remain intellectually honest. It is almost painful to read articles such as his, where disregarding fact is the very basis of your opinion.

Adam Edelman ’14

Three cheers for the legal system

I just finished reading last Friday’s column “Why moving farther right is so wrong” and I felt compelled to write in to voice my opinion. Normandin wrote about “disgusting” responses from the audience of the GOP debates. He was referring to cheers from the audience that occurred when Brian Williams and Rick Perry were speaking about the use of the death penalty. Normandin said, “Regardless of your stance on the death penalty, there is no excuse for celebrating the death of a human being.”

It is here that I disagree. Instead of using the word “disgusting” to describe the cheers of republican voters, I would use the word to describe the individuals upon which the death penalty is enacted. I believe there are certain people in this world who act in ways that require their removal from society. These people include murderers and rapists. If a person is convicted by a jury and sentenced to death, all through due process, then I endorse the state-sponsored killing of that person. Do I celebrate it? That might be a stretch. Am I happy that a murderer is no longer alive? Absolutely. Would I cheer for the legal system working properly and keeping me safe by removing disgusting individuals from society? Yes. Would I cheer for Perry and his use of the death penalty in order to kill convicts sentenced to death? Yes.

When the United States killed Osama bin Laden, I celebrated enthusiastically. Granted, his crimes are more well known and wider in scope than most executed in Texas, but I believe the principle is the same. Let me be clear; I am not happy that individuals commit the crimes that they do. I am deeply saddened when I hear atrocious stories behind some of these death penalty cases. However, I am happy that the offenders are rightfully punished. I wish that people put to death in Texas had never committed the crimes they did, and I wish that there was no need to consider taking someone’s life as punishment. But some people leave us no choice.

Overall, the article was good. I might not agree with it, but it was well written and argues a believable point.

Keep up the good work guys.

Owen Rees ’14