Friday, August 30, 2013

How to kill a discussion

I was having what I thought was a potentially productive discussion on Facebook when one of the participants said something like, "I don't think all Republicans are racist, but there tends to be racists within their ranks and many who are supportive of such positions." I am not a registered Republican, but I tend to vote that way. However, I was not supposed to be insulted or take offense because he didn't say "all".

This is actually a very common tactic, used for many years by Democrats to insinuate that if you're not with them, you're probably a racist. I know those of you who employ these tactics think you're being subtle or subliminal, but in case anyone wonders why it makes non-Democrats so irate, let me illustrate.

"Many supporters of President Obama and Democrats in general, are child molesters or tend to be sympathetic and supportive of child molesters." Note that the preceding statement is absolutely true and I didn't use the word "all" or even "most". Therefore, nobody should take issue with the statement right? Now if the tactic were to catch on and enough people dropped "child molester" into discussions about Democrats, eventually Democrats would become associated with the molestation of children in the minds of many.

Yes, implying that someone might be a racist, even when you're trying to be clever about it, is extremely offensive and insulting. No, people aren't going to embrace a collectivist agenda because they're afraid you might insult and offend them if they don't (at least not people that matter). So if you want to debate real issues, debate real issues, honestly. Resorting to the kind of tactics illustrated above is just an admission that you have no logical case to make and that continuing the conversation would just be a waste of time.