LETTER from M. A. WEHLAN
To the Editor:
In his recent communication to the readership of the Freeman’s Journal, Mr. Furnari offered to debate anyone on the subject of Mr. Trumps’ 75 million enthusiasts who, he says, were deprived of their right to vote for him. We could also debate his other statements – but first we would have to establish some Rules of Evidence to abide by, as we seem to differ about what evidence is.
For example, I would regard the 36 judicially dismissed law suits alleging election fraud, and the validation of the election results by recounts, as evidence that such allegations had no merit. And I would regard Trump’s taped conversation in which he tried to bribe/coerce the Elections Commissioner in Georgia to “find” a winning number of votes for him, as evidence of Trump’s attempt to commit election fraud on his own behalf. I would regard the U.S. Government Intelligence Reports of Trump’s campaign connections to Russia and the Ukraine as evidence of attempted election fraud.
On the other hand, we would not regard baseless theories propagated on Social Media as evidence.
So, for example, the idea that Bill Gates has implanted tracking devices into COVID vaccines, for reasons best known to himself, would not be admitted as evidence, unless someone fishes one out of a vaccine vial, in the presence of a surveillance camera. (We hope this last one will not inhibit Mr. Furnari from getting vaccinated, thereby increasing both his own risk and that of other persons, including myself: I sit next to him in a meeting once a month, where I fully appreciate his knowledge base and contributions, and would hate to lose them).
Statements to the effect that Hillary Clinton ran a pedophilic and cannibalistic sex trafficking ring would not be admitted. Nothing Alex Jones or QAnon or Trump says would be admitted as evidence unless supported by firm documentation, which is to say virtually nothing.
And so forth. We also need to establish basic rules of discourse.
Declarations are not, in and of themselves, facts or points to be debated. They need to be supported by evidence, not opinion based on rumor or bizarre fantasy.
I do have another offer to make. I will solemnly swear to listen to Fox News for half an hour every night for a week, if Mr. Furnari will listen to CNN or PBS or any major network news for the same period of time and in the same week. Then we could compare statements on various points. He can choose a point first. An impartial panel and moderator, if we can agree on one, would decide on the legitimacy and relative merits of the presented evidence. The person with the most points, wins.
O.K., do we meet? Time? Place? Conditions of debate?