Open Mind


Excellent Defense Against the Effects of a Straw Man

Peggy Noonan has written this almost excellent article in the Wall Street Journal of all places.

If Rev. Wright were really the ogre that the media portrays him to be, then Noonan’s column would be a fine explanation of why that shouldn’t deter us from voting for Obama. However, Rev. Wright is not the person she assumes him to be. Why should we destroy Rev. Wright just so we can make a good point?

If she were the excellent writer she appears to be, it would have been nice if she could have made the point without buying into the anti-Wright propaganda. She could have said just what I said here. “If Wright were what the media portrayed him to be …”

Then she could have ended by saying that, in fact, Wright is the exact opposite of his portrayal.

Another way to look at what Noonan wrote is that it is an explanation of why some people hear hate in Rev. Wright’s sermons and speeches and some do not. Those who understand how to listen as she describes do not have their minds turned off by some of his remarks. They are then able to hear the whole message.

I understand the reaction of people who do not understand. At first, when I read Noonan’s article, I was so turned off by her opening remarks that I could not even read the rest of her column. I decided that it was silly to exhibit the same behavior that I was decrying. So I went back, and read the entire column. Because of that I was able to distinguish between the parts that I thought were valuable and the parts that I thought were wrong.