Vail Daily letter: Losing arguments
Gerry Spence, the masterful Wyoming trial lawyer who has never lost a criminal case, defines winning an argument as “getting what you want.” Barbara Allen of Edwards seems determined to build a similar reputation as a master of losing arguments. She furthers her battle against her own interests each time she puts her mean-spirited pen to paper. Whether on the marijuana issue or in her open space battles of recent history, she has proven herself incapable of constructing winning arguments.
In her letters of recent years, she’s implied that a county commissioner has a cold heart and mind bent on destroying children. She’s suggested people are criminals. She’s made specious linkages and careless reference to local family tragedies. She fails to realize that the childhood rhyme “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” just isn’t true. Words damage real, living people. Words hurt our friends and neighbors. They raise wounds that do not heal. And they alienate those that might be persuaded by our arguments. We are all called to argue. It is our civic duty in shaping the world we want to live in.
But when making our arguments (trying to get what we want) it is wise to be soft on people and hard on the problem.
Otherwise, we argue against ourselves.
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