Understandably, decent people don't want to be called criminals, body parts or villains. To avoid being a target, it is all too easy to bow to political correctness and never speak up. The ultimate goal of ad hominem attacks is to silence one's opponents. Have nothing to counter an opponent's concern that $17 trillion in national debt can shackle the next generation? No worries, just suggest someone poop in her mouth. That'll choke off debate.
***Also published as Kafer's regular column in the Denver Post, December 8, 2013.