TO THE EDITOR:
In response to the letter to the editor entitled “Koch editorial defended elitist, right-wing position,” (Sept. 16), I say that your characterization of Mr. Tancredo is wrong.
Mr. Tancredo came to our campus to discuss why he believes that illegal immigrants should not be allowed to attend state colleges or universities. His position on the issue is neither xenophobic nor racist.
Furthermore, whether you or Haley Koch agree with his stance is irrelevant. What is relevant is you and your counterparts’ inability to engage Mr. Tancredo substantively and honorably.
If his position is, as you say, racist and xenophobic, then those of who you disagree with his position should have been willing to engage Mr. Tancredo on the substance of the issue because you easily would have won the debate.
However, Haley Koch and others decided to attack Mr. Tancredo personally and denounce his ideas as unfit to be heard. This strategy implies that the substantive argument of the dissenters was too weak to actually win the debate on the merits of their arguments.