Stephen Maseda | Referee Flagged for Sophistry

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Mr. Christopher Lucero (letters, July 9) has intruded into the “dispute” between Brian Richards, who had the temerity to express the opinion that the Joe Biden spending was a cause of the inflation we have suffered since Biden’s taking office, and Gary Morrison, who questioned Mr. Richards’ qualifications to express that view, without directly responding to the point raised by Mr. Richards.

Mr. Lucero engages in sophistry in his letter. First he asserts that the Morrison letter inquiring about Richards’ qualifications to express his opinion was not an argument from authority, because it did not advance an argument. If Morrison did not intend by his letter to bring into question Richards’ qualifications to express his opinion, then what was the purpose of the question, or indeed its relevance? 

Secondly, Lucero asserts that the overspending was the fault of Congress, not President Biden. In doing so he overlooks (obfuscates) the fact that the spending was proposed by President Biden, to a Congress controlled by the Democrat Party, was passed, without Republican votes, and was signed by President Biden, without whose signature it would not have become law. 

Finally, Mr. Richards’ letter was not, on any fair reading, limited to criticism of President Biden, but rather of Democrat spending, the party of which President Biden is the leader.

So far, between Mr. Morrison and Mr. Lucero, we have not heard one word of actual disagreement with the point raised by Mr. Richards, but we have had a lot of smoke in an attempt to avoid the issue. That is sophistry — the art of using deceptive speech by advancing an argument that seems plausible, but is fallacious or misleading — at its best. 

Stephen Maseda

Santa Clarita

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