As a general rule I avoid the crap dispensed by Slate magazine.
The writers are twisted, slanted, and frankly, I find their drivel to be some combination of the following; bigoted, ignorant, uninformed, outright dishonest, deliberately inflammatory...in fact, the main things I do NOT find in their pieces generally are intelligent, honest, well-thought out material.
Every so often, though, usually at the behest of someone, I waste a few minutes of my life on some article or other.
This time I was pointed to a piece attacking the Tea Party.
The Tea Party is an easy target. Few and far between are the people, either for or against, who actually bother to research what it is all about. Kind of like the Black Panther movement (how many of the social programs they pioneered and oversaw can you name? How many militant incidents can you name?)
Yet even there the moronic authors of Slate cannot hit it. I refuse to link to the piece because it was one of the most over the top, ignorant pieces of yellow journalism I have ever seen. If it was a paper turned in at University and did not receive an "F" the professor should be fired on the spot.
One example is really more than sufficient to demonstrate my point. The writer spent a great deal of electronic ink discussing how horrible it was that the Tea Party mis-uses and abuses the word tyranny and the way they do it is an insult to the people who suffered under the tyranny of Hitler.
His point is the Tea Party is falsifying history.
In so doing, he clearly displays his own ignorance. Even the most cursory study of United States history shows that the "Founding Fathers" were rebelling against...wait for it...tyranny. The tyranny of what they believed to be unjust taxation.
See, a basic mathematical truth is that for the government to give a dollar to me they have to take it from someone else. Sometimes this is right and justified...other times it is not.
So if the foundation of his article is "...the ignorant misuse, of words such as tyranny,..." and he is wrong about what the historical use of that very word in the history of the country, in the sources claimed by the Tea Party for their use of the word, does he have any credibility left?
Sadly, yes. Many people trumpet the "wisdom" his piece demonstrates. The sheeple too lazy to think for themselves just praise his work and move on, convinced that anyone who does not agree with them is an uninformed idiot.
When, in truth, people who bother to do even the most cursory research realize who exactly it is that is uninformed.
The ironic thing here is that by choosing to create his own definition of a word, in this case tyranny, Ron SOUNDS like he builds a strong argument.
It is a fallacy that is easy to fall into.
Take, for example, the highly controversial topic of abortion.
There is a bumper sticker I regularly see that says, "Don't believe in abortion? Then don't have one."
Clever, right? Plainly tells you that if you think something is wrong, you simply should not participate in it. The insinuation is that if you think it is wrong, just keep your mouth shut because they think it is right.
However, lets' read that bumper sticker the way say...I, for example, hear it.
"Don't believe in murder? Then don't commit one."
Because "murder" is the word I actually hear when you say "abortion". It is not a "gray area" or a debatable moral point to me. It is not something I am flexible on, that I find to be a debatable point. Plain and simple, to me, abortion = murder.
So the person who has the bumper sticker with the statement "Don't believe in abortion? Then Don't have one" seems to indicate they have effectively "settled the issue if you will only listen to me with the live and let live" (poor choice of words) philosophy where nobody imposes their morality on anyone else"...when in truth, they are imposing their morality on me.
Something I find ethically and morally reprehensible is now a trite phrase, a bumper sticker...or bs for short...slogan. What I know to be true is irrelevant because they think the meaning of the word abortion has changed when for me it means the same thing it always has...my source for it being the Bible.
That is how much of the political landscape of today operates. People come up with their own definitions of words, thoughts, or ideas that ignore what the people who hold those beliefs actually mean.
If you can designate what you want people to think someone believes by changing the "historical truth" surrounding a word such as tyranny...and if the sheeple sucker for your "spin" then you win.
George Orwell was really on to something with Animal Farm. In many ways, he who controls the language controls the world. Just something to think about.
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