Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why the "clever" name calling needs to stop

Not that I suspect this plea will fall on anything but deaf ears, but I have to say, I'm sick and tired of reading all of the various oh-so clever names that bloggers and such like to use to express their distaste for someone or something.

For example:
  • Madistan - wow, Madison is totally like a country in the Middle East! And all countries in the Middle East are totally awful!
  • Repuglican/Rethuglican - as frustrated as I get with many people who associate themselves with the Republican party, I recognize that they're not all terrible people, and that calling them names like this isn't exactly going to make them more sympathetic to me or my arguments.
  • Democrat Party - It's called the Democratic Party, folks, much as you may dislike it. This is not clever, it's just dumb.
  • Barack Hussein Obama - First off, do the folks who insist on spelling out his full name every damn time also do the same for every other famous person they mention? No? What a surprise! Don't try to argue with me that you're not doing it to be offensive, or because you don't think simply having the middle name Hussein makes you just like Sadam. Hussein, as far as I'm aware, is about equivelent to the name John in the Middle East in how common it is.
  • The Chimp - I am by no means any kind of fan of George W. Bush, but referring to him with stupid nicknames like this doesn't do anyone any good, and makes you look like a preschooler. There are many, many valid points to be made about his policies and actions that don't involve name-calling.
There are more, of course, and I seem to come across a new one every day. I'm tired of them. I may be guilty of having fallen into this trap in the past, but I've long since been making a concerted effort to leave the ad hominem attacks and blatant jingoism out of my vocabulary. I don't care which side of the debate you're on--stupid nickname's and other such insults only hurt your arguments. Ultimately, aren't we all trying to find a better way? To convince those we disagree with that maybe our ideas would work better? And to remain open to new approaches to things, so that we don't necessarily get mired down in our own, stubborn ideaology?

Perhaps that's a bit too idealistic of me. There are certainly people out there who are more interested in generating hits, ad revenue, and bigger paychecks / fame than they are in fostering real, constructive debate. But I have to think that there are just as many, if not more, people out there looking to change some hearts and minds, and to learn a few things themselves.

I thought we were all supposed to have learned that name-calling is useless and mean back in, say, kindergarten. Apparently some of us have since forgotten that valuable lesson.

5 comments:

tommcmahon said...

If Barack Obama is ashamed of his middle name, he can always change it. And if he can't stand the heat . . .

Anonymous said...

And if your views don't meet the litmus test of the "true believers", you're branded a DINO or RINO. And as you discovered on Boots and Sabers, any dissent gets you labeled in any number of ways. Charlie Sykes answered a call last week, "And here's X from the Peoples Republic of Madison". The caller happened to agree with him, but the irony was lost on him. Discussion has degenerated into name calling and labeling. Your post convinces me even more that you're a class act amongst barbarians.

Emily said...

Tom - Were you drunk when you made that reply? Because I can't think of any other excuse that gets you off the hook from sounding like a complete fool.

Anon - No joke. And thanks, that's awful nice. Though I did just call that guy a fool.

M Big Mistake said...

Oh my god...a rational blog post! Do they allow those on the internet? I've tried to talk to name-callers before and they usually act like, if I don't like their methods, than I can just go screw myself along with whoever they are making fun of.

Hell is oh so often other people.

Jesse said...

Emily, I wouldn't expect anything less from a moonbat that lives in the People's Republic of Madison.

The Lost Albatross