Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ad hominem hypocrites?

[This is a reply to a comment on a blog post here.]

You’re so bent on raging against the strawmen in your mind, you refuse to have a real conversation. I know quite a few liberals that can’t do anything but rail against the cartoonish conservatism that they lap up on the news too. See, it’s all about Coke and Pepsi, IBM and Apple, Liberal and Conservative, Eurasia and Oceania.

The original post is just an extension of that. We can’t just have a conversation about what Rush actually said and how inappropriate it is – and all agree. It has to be packaged in an US against THEM fashion. Everyone just lock-steps into the manufactured conflict, false dichotomies, and convenient outrage.

I don’t listen to Maher often – usually only when someone sends me a link or something. I did watch Religulous and wasn’t impressed. It needed less mocking, more substance, and the end was preachy and annoying. I’m not a big fan because he is borderline germ-theory denialist (which really bothers me) and even though his show has had some brilliant moments - of playing a brilliant devil’s advocate - you have to wade through the rest of it. he is also defending Rush – which I’m not too keen on.

I have never in my entire life listened to Ed Shultz except when someone linked his apology about his own misogynistic statements in an article about Rush. I never bothered with him because I was told he is just insulting – essentially a liberal version of Rush – and I don’t see the point of that.

So, exactly WHO is the charge of hypocrisy against? That nameless liberal horde? The “elite media”? What are their names? Who exactly has said that it is okay for liberal commentators to be misogynistic and conservatives should be blasted? I know that, according to Rush, every political hit and forced apology and professional set-back caused by misogynistic statements of “liberals” never happened. The news never reported on it. Nobody ever apologized and all his listeners shouldn’t hold their breath. …but we all know that’s a lie. Rush isn’t magically better than every other painfully misogynistic public figure because he apologized (poorly) and claimed (falsely) that nobody else has.

My point was that you could attack your political opponents (either rightly or wrongly) based on your disagreements with them or their actions and not some sort of immutable characteristic. You don’t need to say racist, homophobic, sexist, able-ist, or transphobic things to attack your opponents; if that’s all you have, your attack isn’t just mean or hateful; it has no substance at all and just supports generalized bigotry.

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