Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Occutards vs. Tea Baggers: The Stupidity of Name-calling

I dislike any sort of name-calling in the political arena on general principal. The reasoning is simple. When a political opponent is referred to in a derogatory manner, the focus is taken off of the opponent's political ideals (the reason for opposing him/her/them in the first place). Referring to members of the Occupy movement as "Occutards" may be accurate, but it moves the focus onto their intelligence rather than their Marxist ideals or criminal behavior and it predisposes any mildly liberal or moderate person to ignore your points. Calling a Tea Partier a "Tea Bagger" (in addition to being inaccurate) has the same effect upon people of moderate or mildly conservative bents. In other words, derogatory terminology moves the focus off of your opponents philosophy and onto them and it turns off the people whom you are trying to convince.

Political name-calling also tends to show a severe lack of imagination. "Occutards", "Tea Baggers", "Nazi". Really the most overused of these is "Nazi". A few points of the National Socialist platform are:
  • Total confiscation of war profits
  • Profit-Sharing in large enterprises
  • Large scale old age pension schemes
  • Nationalization of major corporations
  • Education and Healthcare reform to increase the state's power
  • Duty of the state to provide employment
  • All with an overdose of nationalism.
The Nazi platform includes 25 points available for review here.
A brief skimming of the platform is all you need to see that calling any American elected official a Nazi is base libel. Socialist might fit some of them, Nationalist might fit others, but Nazi doesn't fit any that I know of.

I'm down off of my high horse. I had a run in with another student, who while generally smart, is politically blinkered, and has a bad habit of referring to Republicans as Nazis and Tea Partiers as "Tea Baggers".

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