Letter: Straw man arguments continue against Carson


Dear editor,

I notice that Ben Carson’s critics continue to triumphantly refute assertions that he didn’t make. Most recently, John Tures quoted several GOP candidates in what was purported to be a stinging rebuke of Carson. But they too only contradicted what he didn’t say.

I went back and listened to his statements again to see if I had missed something. But, no, he did not say or give any indication that he believed that a Muslim should not be allowed to run for president, only that his support of such a candidate would be conditional. Yet the one and only talking point of commentators is the fact that the U.S. Constitution does not allow a religious test for presidential candidates.

When asked if a candidate’s faith should matter, he said, “If it is inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and is consistent with the Constitution, then no problem. It would depend on what their policies are, the same as for anyone else.”

Allegiance to the Constitution is the issue, not religion, and still no mention of the person not having the right to seek office.

It would be hard to build a case against Carson based on his actual words, so it becomes necessary to argue against a fabricated position. This is a propaganda technique known as the “straw man argument.”

Carson’s message is pretty clear and straightforward. He personally would not choose a president who was a proponent of Sharia Law, a theocracy that advocates, among other things, executing homosexuals and beating one’s wife into submission. On that issue the silence of the critics is deafening. Go figure.


Marianna Cipolla


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