Written by South Carolina House Representative Garry Smith
Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person” short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.
Yesterday the folks at Greenville Health System stooped to a new low unleashing a personal attack on myself, and citizens of Greenville County who disagree with how they went about their restructuring. Unfortunately, this is only more of the same from them. While I have been very intentional to discuss this very important issue of how our chief provider of public health is going about doing so in the public, and have invited open discussion, they have chosen on many occasions to call names and avoid the debate of the issue in the public square. This is unacceptable.
As C. S. Lewis wrote in his famous essay, Men Without Chests, we must be men with chests or heart. The Latin word for heart is Cors which is where we get our word courage. What Lewis is telling us is that we must be willing to take a stand on controversial issues, and not hide because it may make you feel uncomfortable.
I have taken a stand for doing things the right way. No matter how noble your cause, you must do it the right way. For a public agency, which Greenville Health System is as it was created by Act 432 by the South Carolina General Assembly, that means doing things in the public…not behind closed doors for over a year.
I have taken a stand for the rule of law. Act 432 clearly defines the role of the Greenville Health System Board of Trustees. Twenty five clear functions. They cannot be reduced to three by a contract or lease, and those duties assigned to a private entity. That is called the ‘illegal delegation of authority’ under the law.
I have taken a stand for public discussion of this very important issue. I have invited leaders of the Greenville Health System for the last three years to enter into open discussion about this very important issue. Instead they choose to post ads in the newspaper by employees, run vicious personal ads on the radio, and sent a ver defamatory post card in the mail.
I will continue to stand on principle, and doing things the right way.
I will continue to openly discuss this very important issue.
I will continue to support the rule of law.
I will not stoop to calling people names just because I cannot intelligently articulate my points.
Thank you again for the honor of representing you in the South Carolina House of Representatives!