12 comments on “Rhetoric & Politics: No Lessons Learned

  1. It’s actually gotten to the point where it’s funny watching the commentators tripping over freshly designated un-p.c. words. This morning a NPR commentator was talking about how Meijer Corp. was “targeting” council members in certain municipalities. She kept pausing like she was turning to her people and asking, “Are you sure I can say this?” One day I’m going to do a whole alphabet of banned words. “A” is for a**hole, “B” is for b***h, etc. The problem is we’ve gone so far that some letters now have TWO words, like “F”.

  2. Thing is HipCon, this is very simple. Avoid references to guns in political discourse (“targeting” “taking a shot at” cross hairs, “taking arms”, etc.). Also avoid making references to ‘killing’, ‘eliminating’, ‘taking out’, etc. Finally, avoid hyperbolic comparisons to nefarious people like Hitler, Stalin, Nazis, etc. From there, you’re good.

    Then again, without any of those phrases, politicians and pundits would be forced to be speak with their brains and with civility. Like that’ll ever happen.

    • Hey Dre,
      Does that mean the show “Crossfire” should change their name? Is this the end of using “bullet points”? How about the group “By Any Means Necessary”? I mean, “any means” certainly means violence. How about phrases like “No justice, no peace.”? I couldn’t help but notice how pundits on the left immediately started making references to the “The bill to stop the bill that killed our jobs” (or whatever the heck it’s name is) and saying it’s going to kill hundreds of children if it’s passed. Is that rhetoric going to stop? Am I not justified in gunning down (if I’m a fragile mind) a Senator who is going to vote to kill children? Do I have to report to the Office of Censorship to see if a can use an arrow to point at a district? Calling DIRECTLY for violence against someone (I.E. “I wish someone would kill all hippies”) I get, but this has gotten ridiculous. I agree that it would be nice to have our politicians be a little more restrained, but as long as one side keeps saying, “Republicans don’t care if black children die.” or “They want to destroy our planet” (even though they live on the same said planet). Then it’s hard to restrain the other side. The sad part is: people don’t march because U of M has to go from “race based” to “need based”, they march because, “They want to put us back in slavery.” Extremist rhetoric works, and until it doesn’t, pointing at one side’s verbage is just a example of partisan politics.

    • Bullet points? Are you serious thehc? Is THIS your defense?!! Unless a person is saying “BULLET points” emphasizing the bullet part, your getting carried away here. I’m not surprised by your right-wing counter argument, but I expected a little better here.

      Anyway to your point Andre, I agree that the language should be toned down everywhere. But I have to take issue with notion that the left is just as bad as the right. In this clip, mentioning Goebbels was clearly just to point out his often cited line about how telling a lie enough will lead people to believe it. And for all we know, the ‘blood libel’ line could have been directly in response to what Sarah Palin said.

      I agree with your overall sentiment. This post was wrong though.

      • hey mike,
        The ONLY thing I’m defending is my right to not be censored by you or anyone like you. The thing your not getting, in your zealot hatred and name-calling of anyone you disagree with, is that someone has to decide what words are uncivil and should be censored. Would you seriously want someone like Palin to decide that for you? Or me? I don’t fear the words as much as the people who want to limit them. Having said that, I have nothing against calling people out for their bad behavior, that’s the proper function of free speech:)

        “It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

        The continuation of your quote
        Since you like Joseph Goebbels

  3. Mike, how is this post wrong? Could Cohen NOT make that same point about people believing lies without specifically referring to Goebbels? Even invoking the dude’s name is sure to generate a big stir. That’s the problem with political discussion these days. It’s not enough to rest on the legitimacy of an argument. No. These days, cats find the need to sensationalize the discussion by using all kinds of destructive metaphors and euphemisms. If it’s not crosshairs, it’s Nazi comparisons. If it’s not “death panels”, it’s “Republicans want you to die.” Is that kind of language necessary…from either side of the aisle?

  4. Dre, I’m in full agreement. I’m sick of people on BOTH sides trying to use terms like Nazi just to score political points. It’s an insult to people who actually suffered through the ordeal. Unless you have evidence that your opponent believes in Nazi philosophies of racial superiority and ethnic cleansing, they need to STFU with all that crap.

  5. Tell me about it. There’s a word for a person who tells lies. LIAR! Nazis don’t have anything to do with this.

  6. @Andre, Miss KD, & Paige,
    Absolutely, enough with the fear mongering and Nazi comparisons!

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