A Critical Analysis of the Moorburg Letter

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In a letter to the editor on April 10, Mr. Raywift, a concerned citizen, discussed the issue of overnight parking on the streets of Moorburg. Raywift concludes that overnight parking on all streets in Moorburg should be eliminated for reasons of safety, but for a number of reasons, Mr. Raywift’s argument is grossly inadequate. Raywift begins his letter by poisoning the well. After stating his conclusion that “overnight parking on all streets in Moorburg should be eliminated,” he writes, “There are a number of reasons why any intelligent citizen would agree.” The hidden assumption is obvious: If you do not agree, you are not intelligent. Once is not enough for Mr. Raywift, as he commits this same fallacy in paragraph six. He appears to disregard the “intelligence” of his readers when he introduces irrelevant evidence to support his position. His discussion of traffic problems in the afternoon is a case in point. The heavy traffic on Lincoln Avenue, Marquand Avenue, and West Main Street during the afternoon rush hour has no bearing on his conclusion that overnight parking should be eliminated. This irrelevancy, perhaps, reveals the true reason for this letter to the editor: He is perturbed by the inconvenience of his thirty-five minute drive home in the afternoons. Raywift appears to be supporting his conclusion when he states that “Traffic on some streets is also bad in the morning when factory workers are on their way to the 6 AM shift.” But this congestion occurs only on some streets while his conclusion states that overnight parking should be prohibited on all streets. He makes this same error when he cites the recommendations of the director of the National Traffic Safety Council, Kenneth O. Taylor, and the National Association of Police Chiefs that parking should be prevented on busy streets in cities the size of Moorburg. The authorities

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