The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis.
We all know the lines. Prgressives love to go on about how "Conservatives are racist" or how "Conservatives want the poor to starve in the street", just as Conservatives will support anything done in the name of "National Security" or "Traditional Values"
Everyone uses such clichés to some degree. Either to avoid facing uncomfortable truths about themselves, or as a means to marginalize potential opposition. About a week ago I got into a war of words on with someone I ordinarily respect and agree with. The battle spanned two posts and close to 200 comments. Needless to say, things got a little heated.
The core of the disagreement was my assertion that it is not enough to say that something is right or wrong. One must also be able to articulate why.
Anything less make you vulnerable to cliché.
In my opinion, many progressives on this forum use charges of racism or just plain cruelty on the part of thier opponents to avoid taking a good hard look at the flaws in thier own reasoning.
As was said in the comments to an earlier post... If we can't have the conversation in reallistic terms, and naming the apropriate parties, then exactly how are we to be solving any of the problems? If, for example, I cannot say "the african american population of the US is 17% of the overall, and committs 40% of the murders, how can we improve that situation", without worry of being accused of racism and hate-mongering, then exactly *how* can we look at solutions
On the flip-side, Many conservatives freely accuse Obama of being a Communist or a Socialist. but far fewer are willing to examine whether or not such titles are warrented or why being one a might be a bad thing in the first place.
What clichés do you fall prey to?