Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

This past Tuesday, March 27, the Temple College Republicans and the Temple College Democrats held a debate in the Underground and discussed issues affecting the local community and the nation. This event could not have been put together without the great leadership of Temple College Republicans President Erik Jacobs and Temple Democrats President David Lopez. The event was a great forum for both organizations to voice their opinions about different issues to the large audience and it seemed that most people came away viewing it as a positive event.

There was, however, one incident that was very disconcerting to me that happened during our debate. A member of the College Democrats expressed an opinion when speaking about a medical policy, alleging that republicans are “raping women.”  This kind of speech is used around the country to try and score political points and as future leaders in the public and private sector we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.

I feel a need to speak out against this kind of speech in the hope that people see there is no need for that kind of a personal attack in a civilized conversation. There is nothing wrong with people having different views and solutions when it comes to how to resolve problems that face our nation, but this kind of rhetoric should have no place in political discourse. I love the fact that different people have different views on different issues and having citizens who have different views is what makes this country great. I would hate to imagine how boring and dangerous things would be if everyone agreed on every issue.

When someone uses this kind of vile language when disagreeing with someone, it does several negative things. Firstly, it tarnishes an organization that person may represent. Secondly, it diminishes the message that person is trying to convey, and thirdly, it does a serious injustice to the emotional and physical trauma an actual rape victim lives with for the rest of their life, all in the name of scoring political points. I urge all Temple students who may find themselves in a disagreement to act and speak in a civilized way in an attempt to avoid staining the university, themselves and their message. Maybe by doing so we can all work together to solve problems that affect everyone.



Paul Fritchey

Temple College Republicans

1 Comment

  1. Before I begin, I would like to make it very clear that I do not identify or align ideologically with the following political groups, etc.:
    (a) democrats/liberals,
    (b) republicans/conservatives,
    (c) ‘Occupy Wall Street’, ‘Occupy Philly’, etc./OWS activist(s)/those who need to “occupy…personal responsibility…[and] a job”*,
    (c)(1) ‘progressive’, or
    (d) apolitical hipsters (a category which is often thoughtlessly — and wrongly — collapsed into group ‘C’).
    As such, please do not attempt to devalue my criticism — which I am almost sure you will try to do — by assuming and/or implying that I have some sort of ‘masked political agenda’ in alignment with any of the above groups. Again, in order to make it abundantly clear, I will repeat: I am not affiliated — politically or ideologically — with any of the above groups; therefore, if you would like to respond, please do so on the basis of my own words.
    * Your words.


    (1) Just last week, your ‘great leader’ — Erik Jacobs — was bemoaning the lexical revisions that TTN’s editor had made (concretely: a change from ‘pro-life’ to ‘pro-choice’). Jacobs argued that such an attempt — particularly within the journalistic forum, but also in general — to ‘limit’ the usage of political terminology associated with a specific group/ideology is an unacceptable form of [politically] symbolic violence. Whether or not Jacobs’s conclusion within the context of his article is generally valid or not, I do not see how one could argue that what you are arguing and proposing in this piece is, in its content, anything but that very same [politically] symbolic violence Jacobs had been criticizing. Let’s look at it this way: there is, for example, no ‘universal’ agreement about when ‘life’ begins. “But wait!” you say, “Scientists have empirically proven that life begins at the moment of conception! Here, take a look at this research article…!” or something of the sort. I don’t mean to be rude, but I have to interrupt you — because I must say: the very fact that right now, we — and the scientists, too (but shhh…it’s a secret) — are in the process of disagreeing about when life begins is already enough proof (at least in the present analysis) to affirm that there is no universal agreement. Therefore, when Erik was arguing that his ethical, scientific, and legal-rational judgments about the issue of abortion have led him to wish to voice his opinion in a particular way, he was implying that only the dramatic, politicized term ‘pro-life’ would be capable of adequately articulating the nuances of his “message.”** Of course, using the term “raping women” is a harsh — and obviously hyperbolic — way for some member of the TCD to get across a particular “message”; but the logic of why Joe-Democrat would use such dramatic language to articulate (t)his message is fundamentally no different than the logic on which Erik based his own argument. If you were able to present me with a clear, logical, and air-tight argument that could convincingly make the case for how and why it is any different, I would truly be impressed.
    ** His words.

    (2) And another thing:
    “It does a serious injustice to the emotional and physical trauma an actual rape victim lives with for the rest of their life”
    — And forcing rape victims to give birth to their rapist’s child is not a serious injustice? Or, if you think that question is too ideological, I could re-frame it as such: Is it not also a violent injustice to regulate a rape victim’s freedom to choose how she wants to cope with the “emotional and physical trauma” brought on by the rape she did not want but was unjustly forced to endure? I’m already well aware of all the ready-made retorts to such a question: But how she copes is still regulated by the law, and the taking of a human life is illegal!; She could just give the child up for adoption!; She was drunk, so her rape — while unfortunate — was an effect of her own irresponsibility!; et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Paul: Believe what you will; vote for who you will; argue for the legitimacy of political policies as you will. But, please, I beg of you, don’t pretend as if you (a) are not merely positing and interpreting the situation in terms of a fallacious ‘false dilemma’, and/or (b) are somehow absolved of responsibility for your political views and claims just because you are the budding image of the strong, American politician: unwavering in his duty to remain consistent to his inconsistencies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.