Backpacks and personal attacks

William F. Buckley once stated, “Show me a debater who launches a personal attack and I’ll show you a debater who’s lost the debate.”

How unfortunate that the liberally-minded Tim Parker has resorted to this tactic by impugning me personally for countering his attack on Christian Americans.

Personal insults are commonly “last ditch” when a debater’s argument is devoid of substance and when he has nothing left in his cerebral arsenal to defend his claim.

In retrospect, however, I recognize and regret that I may have elicited such a diatribe by speaking too harshly in my rebuttal against Mr. Parker. And while we’re ideologically opposed, I harbor no contempt toward him and have even hosted him as a guest in my home.

My intention was not to insult Mr. Parker personally but only to correct his claim that Christians (quote) “hate poor people.” By illustrating the tireless efforts of Christians around the world in bringing aid and comfort to the underprivileged, I went so far as to say that Mr. Parker was “misguided” and that his attack was “undeserved,” which may have provoked his baseless defamation.

My desire in writing an op-ed piece is to remain objective and avoid vitriol, and I may have failed somewhat in that regard.

Editor Cal Beverly and Mr. Pepper Adams, however, were more articulate in their highly cogent rebuttals that further refuted and negated this hollow argument against Christians, not to mention support of big government and Obamacare.

Christians are not alone in their opposition to out-of-control government spending and entitlements that we can ill afford as a deficit nation.

Many Americans in general also agree that the federal government does not know best what to do with our personal wealth and that the proposed tax increases, which won’t cover expenses, will only further sink our economy.

And if government provided healthcare is such a panacea, then why are Canadians lined up at our borders to visit U.S. hospitals, lest they succumb to their illnesses while waiting for weeks to be treated?

Tim, we may just have to agree to disagree on this subject, but you’re too decent a guy to be putting egg on your face by targeting me or anyone else with unsupported personal pejoratives in an attempt to discredit an opponent for countering your claim.

Oh, and by the way, all those backpacks weren’t my idea but that of a loving church that cares greatly for the underprivileged in our community.

Thus, to brand me with a moniker of “self-proclaimed Backpack King” is not my proclamation but your own, and I hope that you can see where such a misplaced, adolescent remark only damages your credibility.

I feel that this debate has run its course and will not engage in it any further so as to avoid a public spectacle. I also apologize if I’ve offended you or anyone else in the process of defending a group of people who are so constantly and unjustly maligned.

I feel I said what needed to be said but probably could have done so with greater tact and diplomacy. You are welcome to contact me at my email address below for further discussion away from this public forum. I ask only for decorum and civility.

Ralph P. Trapaga

Peachtree City, Ga.

rmtrapaga@yahoo.com