The inability to follow an argument and respond reasonably and civilly to what an author actually maintains is a mark of the present miserable state of public discourse. Even prominent conservative commentators display this inability. A recent example is the Never-Trumper and NRO contributor David French's febrile flailing at Tully Borland. Professor Borland ignited a firestorm of controversy when he presented an argument why Alabamans ought to vote for Roy Moore. Chad McIntosh, in a fine defense of Borland, accurately restates Borland's main argument:
Comparing Moore to opponent Doug Jones, Borland argues that a Moore victory would be the lesser of the two evils in a binary election in which these are the only two viable options. Why? Well, even if Moore is guilty of sexual assault and seeking sexual relationships with girls as young as 14 some 40 years ago, as accused, that is very unlikely to have policy ramifications today, whereas Jones supports a policy of unrestricted abortion today.
Don’t be misled here: Jones supports killing a fetus up to the moment of crowning, the moment a baby exits his mother during birth. That isn’t your typical pro-choice position. That’s almost as extreme as they come. So, as Borland sees it, “either Jones knows exactly what he’s doing in supporting killing babies in utero but doesn’t care, in which case he’s a moral monster, or his moral compass is in such need of calibration that one should never trust his judgment in moral matters.” Borland therefore concludes that one is morally justified in voting for Moore, whose win would result in lesser evil.
This is a very strong argument. You will not appreciate its strength, however, unless you appreciate the grave moral evil of unrestricted abortion, abortion at any stage of fetal development, for any reason. Unless you are morally obtuse you will understand that the intentional killing of innocent human beings is morally wrong and that the pre- and almost-natal human beings in question are human individuals in their own right, not globs of tissue or parts of their mothers.
The closest French comes to a substantive response to Borland is in the following:
"Of course we’re always choosing between imperfect men, but there are profound differences between conventional politicians and a man who tried to rape a teenager when he was a D.A. Believe it or not, the American political ranks are chock-full of politicians who possess better character than Moore, whose pasts are far less checkered. I don’t even have to get to the difficult process of line-drawing to have confidence in declaring that Christians should not vote to put a credibly-accused child abuser in the Senate."
But this is misdirection. That the American political ranks are chock-full of politicians who possess better character than Moore is beside the point, since they aren’t running against Moore. It’s Jones running against Moore, so that is the only comparison that matters.
That's right. It's Jones against Moore, and exactly one of these two will be elected. Not both and not neither.
It is also important to note that while character matters, policies, programs, and ideas matter even more. People of the 'Never X' mentality seem not to understand this. French apparently thinks two terms of Hillary and all her damage to conservatism would be a fair price to pay for keeping Trump out of the White House with all the good he has already done in less than one year in office.
But suppose you are not convinced by the Borland-McIntosh argument. Then you should at least have the decency to admit that it is a reasonable argument. But that is not what French does. He heaps abuse on Borland. See McIntosh piece for documentation.