Thursday, September 07, 2006

Because why go for reasoned argument when you can throw around hyperbole?

Leftists are comparing Bush to Hitler. Bush and Bushites are comparing Bin Laden to Hitler. Apparently analogies are no longer rhetorical tools, but have become arguments themselves.

One of my favorite law professors used to note, humorously, that whichever side invokes Hitler first, loses. His point was clear: guilt by association always has been, and always will be, a logical fallacy. I don't know or care who started it here. So I'm going to call it: when people on both sides stop arguing and resort to yelling and name-calling, we've all lost.

Dammit. I hate losing.

10 Comments:

At September 7, 2006 at 4:36 PM, Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

Yes, but sadly, too many people take the easy way which doesn't involve original thinking. And in the instances you cite, if everyone is compared to Hitler, he becomes meaningless as a standard. And that is just plain wrong. We badly need to keep our archvillains intact (and our heroes) or else we have no one against whom to measure our own behavior.

I hate losing, too. I hate the way we're going, and I really hate the fact that I have only the mere power of my vote to change it.

 
At September 7, 2006 at 9:09 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Exactly. It's like someone yelled "you're Hitler!" and the response is "I know you are, but what am I?" So sad that the level of discourse in the country has sunk so low...

I'd trust more in the right to vote if we were more *actually* democratic. But elections nowadays are barely more than circuses. Thanks to an overabundance of polls, elections have become a yawn-worthy event, and thanks to soulless politicians and the equally soulless corporations that fund them, the winner rarely makes a huge difference. Either way, the country's going to shit.

 
At September 8, 2006 at 10:54 AM, Blogger NWsixer said...

I propose more education on evil dictators so in future people can make an informed choice.

Sixer Uni will have "History's Evil Dickheads 101" on characters such as:

Pol Pot
Mussolini
Vlad Tepes
Triple H(Not the wrestler - Hitler Heydrich and Himmler)
Edward Longshanks
The IRA
The man who invented boy bands

At least then there will be some points of reference...

 
At September 8, 2006 at 11:23 AM, Blogger Andy said...

The only consolation is that fifty years from now, people will be comparing terrorists and other despots to George W. Bush.

 
At September 8, 2006 at 11:28 AM, Blogger T said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

Was your professor Godwin? Although Godwin's law simply states that as a discussion grows longer, the probablility that someone will make a comparison to Hitler approaches 100%, it is sometimes used for the idea that whoever first does so, loses.

 
At September 8, 2006 at 1:49 PM, Anonymous roonie said...

I like that Hitler statement from your professor. Uber-clever.

 
At September 8, 2006 at 2:41 PM, Blogger The Special Sauce said...

Bush is harmless. It's the clowns that work around him that are the problem. Chenney makes my blood run cold. He always has that smug look on his face. I can totaly picture him saying something like, "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." While he's steepling his fingers like Montgomery Burns.

 
At September 10, 2006 at 9:32 PM, Blogger Drewcatt said...

Don't you guys know that we've all got a bit of Hitler deep deep down inside us.





















We've all painted at one point in our life....

 
At September 12, 2006 at 9:52 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Sixer, let's not forget Richard Simmons. I'm convinced that hell involves eternal bad dancing to crappy old music (I mean the bad oldies, not the good oldies) smushed in between fat people who should have gotten a heart attack within the first two steps.

Andy, as long as we're allowed to use the words "terrorists" and "despots" after we've switched over to Newspeak.

T, interesting -- cool idea, too. But no -- the professor I'm talking about is David Strauss at the University of Chicago. If anyone reading this ends up heading there for law school, I cannot recommend him highly enough.

Roonie, yeah, he was one of my very very tip-top favorites.

Special Sauce, possibly -- although I don't think any politicians are harmless. It's like they say, power corrupts...

Drew, don't forget, too, there's a little Slim Shady in all of us :)

 
At September 26, 2006 at 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello,

i really enjoy your blog...keep up the good work

bob

 

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