Thursday, November 19, 2009

Letter on Ad Hominem Attack on Ayn Rand

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette online today posted a letter I wrote in response to columnist who scribbled an ad hominem attack on Ayn Rand. My letter is the 11th one listed.

Reg Henry's drive-by criticism

Reg Henry comes off as a coward in his column "Who Spawned All These Nuts? Ayn Rand" (Nov. 11).

He hides behind so-called humor and oversimplifications to attack those he dislikes. For example, he writes that some readers erupted with volcanic name-calling because of his "mild criticism" of Sarah Palin -- but he fails to mention whether that criticism was rational or ... crazy. Often, it's not mere criticism that people are responding to but the nature of the criticism -- and whether it is fair or unjust.

Likewise, he blames Ayn Rand for all the alleged "nutty" ideas out there today. God forbid that people call Barack Obama's efforts to take over the banking and health-care industries for what they are: "socialist" -- that is, government wresting control of the means of production in an industry.

But never once does he give an example of her ideas, other than to summarize them as "greed is good" and leave it as that. In short, his criticism of Ms. Rand amounts to an ad hominem attack.

Based on this smear job, I'll chalk him up as just another of many drive-by critics of Ayn Rand who are too intellectually impotent to stop and provide any rational criticism of her philosophy.

Now who's the name-caller and crazy one?

East Meadow, N.Y

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