We can count on at least one certainty in American culture – the mainstream media is unconstrained from any and all journalistic integrity. The recent events in Orlando have magnified the “enlightened” manner in which Americans debate politics. The mainstream media outlets are doing whatever they can to fit these events into the progressive anti-gun crusade while ignoring what most people would consider important points of consideration. For example, the gunner allegedly claimed ties to ISIS and frequented the club he attacked. This piece of information seems relevant for the purposes of informing the public of this event. The most egregious reporting of this incident are the attempts being made to pin the shooting on conservative Christians. I am not really sure how a person could in their right mind blame Christians for the actions of a Muslim motivated by extremist factions of Islam, but progressives have absolutely zero shame at this point.
The ensuing madness of entrenched ideological narratives points us directly to the primary method of American political discourse. What is the most effective way to win an argument in our culture generally, and American politics specifically?
It is very simple – label your opponent.
The American political mind operates in quick, little packaged slogans, ready made and easy to digest. Critical thought is spurned while confirmation bias is eagerly welcomed. When you associate a package with a label, there is no need to think about anything after the label has been attached to your preconceived packaged opponent, hence, a person can believe that a potential terror attack conducted by a Muslim is the fault of conservative Christianity. It takes a very special kind of spiritual blindness to associate advocates of traditional marriage as the primary influence of the Orlando mass shooting.
Consider these examples of the labeling tactic in order to see how this works:
- “You think the Iran Deal isn’t the most disastrous diplomatic policy decision since Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler? You are either a clueless progressive or a Jew hating anti-Semite – #remember9/11.”
- “You think the war on drugs is a mistake and drugs should be decriminalized? You are clearly in favor of allowing dangerous drugs onto our streets while putting our children at risk. You are against protecting children. You are pro-addiction, pro-crime, and anti-child.”
- “You don’t believe that American culture is imbued with a systemic racism perpetually destroying the lives of millions at every moment of every single day? You are clearly a racist and hate anyone who isn’t white while participating in a white supremacist privilege that needs to be exposed and destroyed. Racist!”
- “You think marriage is the conjugal union between a man and a woman, exclusively, until death, for the purposes of uniting the mind, body, and soul of the man and woman so that the traditional familial structure will continue to undergird and perpetuate a morally civilized society? Well you are clearly an anti-gay, homophobic, fundamentalist bigot. You are filled with hatred and idiocy. You are evil, oppressive, and authoritarian. You are trying to force your religion down people’s throats. You want a theocracy. You are no different than the Mullahs in Iran.”
- “You think it is immoral to tear a baby limb from limb while they are in the womb of their mother? You are a patriarchal religious fanatic. You hate women. You are anti-women and anti-reproductive rights. You are against choice.”
- “You think that the government should have a social safety net to help the poor, and maybe even help the working poor? You must hate the market, freedom, liberty, everything this country was founded upon, the constitution, and the creative imagination. You are anti-freedom and a fascist totalitarian monster. You are against personal responsibility. You promote the lifestyle of free loading losers that suffocate the productive capabilities of the job creators. Read Ayn Rand you leach.”
- “You think God exists? You are an uneducated moron that believes in a magic man living in the sky. You are anti-science and anti-reason. You clearly hate the Enlightenment and believe the earth is 2 days old. Haven’t you read Darwin? Haven’t you read Freud? I mean, how anti-science can you even be? You want to bring back the dark ages, enslave women, and bring back feudalism.”
- “You think it is not the best idea to get involved in foreign civil wars? You are clearly anti-American and do not believe that America is the greatest country to have ever existed in the history of the world ever! Why do you hate American greatness! America!”
- “You think women should pay for their own birth control? You want to turn the clock back to the dark ages when women weren’t even allowed to eat or breath or drink water or walk down the street or get a job or talk or think or even live! You hate women! You are no different than the leaders of Saudi Arabia. You don’t believe in rights or the constitution. Haven’t you ever read Roe v Wade? You are against Roe, aren’t you? How can you be against choice you anti-choice zealot?!?!?!
As you can see, the list can go on and on. Most people use the labeling tactic because it is easy and it rallies the troops against a perceived political opponent for the next election cycle.
This is our culture. This is the level of discussion we are operating at. People wonder why the country is so divided; well, when we exist within a society operating only within the realm of tweets, intellectual depth is difficult to come by.
– Lucas G. Westman