Re letters to the editor by Pawleys Island resident Terry Munson.
Mr. Munson is unquestionably well-read and a skilled writer. So, why does he constantly resort to hyperbole, ridicule and ad hominem attacks when making his point?
His line, “the reverberation of stiff-legged men in jackboots pounding the pavement in unison” is a brilliant turn of a phrase and vivid in its depiction, but clearly hyperbolic. I doubt Mr. Munson, or anyone else, seriously believes the country is about to evolve into Nazi Germany because President Trump looks upon certain world leaders in a way that Mr. Munson finds offensive.
So why resort to such hyperbole? Could it be that without the gratuitous reference to Nazism, President Trump’s attitudes are far less consequential than Mr. Munson would have us to believe? Perhaps the president’s motivations are not as malevolent as Mr. Munson claims, and the whole matter is really quite benign.
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In Mr. Munson’s mind, there are only be two explanations for the president’s views on Erdogan of Turkey and Duterte of the Philippines; either Trump was “acting the diplomatic oaf” or “he is expressing admiration for a role he foresees for himself?”
For Mr. Munson, there are no other explanations for the president’s views. Trump is either an oaf or an aspiring dictator.
If that were the extent of Mr. Munson’s myopia, it might be overlooked. But he engages in the same false choice tactic when he accuses the president of firing rockets into Syria simply to “convince us that his relationship with Putin is not yet consummated, or an effort to strengthen his own image as a bully.”
Once more, Mr. Munson can see only two villainous motivations for the president’s action. He is conning us, or he is showing off as a bully. The possibility the attack was in retaliation for the murder of innocent children never enters into Mr. Munson’s thinking.
Calling the president, a “rotund repository of crippling neuroses” may be a clever insult, but it adds no weight to Mr. Munson’s argument. Rather, it detracts from his credibility by reminding us of his self-admitted “intense revulsion” toward the president. An intense revulsion that explains Mr. Munson’s inability to see anything but the worst when it comes to President Trump.
It is only by bolstering his argument with hyperbole and “false choices” that Mr. Munson can reach the melodramatic conclusion, that “this would-be dictator” will “make his move to seize total power.”
We are warned, President Trump has admired dictators, and as a result, he will rise to Hitlerian heights, and jack-booted men will march in the streets.
I just don’t see that happening.
The writer lives in Little River.