Tuesday, August 20, 2013

No one is "Anti-Teacher"

This is something I've been meaning to get off my chest for a long time.  There's a rhetorical trick employed by people of all political stripes to discredit those with who them disagree, and it really should stop.

Most of us agree that in all ethnic, social, religious and political groups there are good and bad individuals.  There are people who care only about themselves, some that only care about their friends and families and those that only care about people in their "group", whatever that group happens to be.  Since one can't generalize about the behavior of all people in any particular group, those who do generalize are often called prejudiced, bigots, racists, etc.  and their arguments are automatically discredited.

So the trick is to show that a policy that you oppose doesn't merely reflect a different perspective, but that it represents an animosity towards an entire group of people.  That way it is prejudice, bigotry, etc. and you don't even have to argue the merits of the policy because it is discredited at the outset.

Hence, gun enthusiasts will oppose gun restrictions as being "anti-gun owner" rather than simply "anti-gun".  Amsterdam News will label the NYPD's "stop and frisk" program as "racism" (racist in itself, mot merely in the implementation).  The Jewish Voice and Opinion will label opposition to Israel's settlement policy as "anti-semitism."  If you believe that life begins at conception and that therefore abortion should be illegal you must be "sexist."  Opposition to gay marriage must reflect "homophobia."

And if I suggest that schools make up for days lost due to weather in the summer than I am "anti-teacher."  Similarly if I suggest that teachers who don't work in the summers have an easy July and August.

If you believe in any of the above you must hate everyone the respective group.  Even if you are a member of that group.  You must just hate yourself.  And since this is a thought crime there is no way to disprove it.

Of course everyone sees the ridiculousness in other people's hang-ups but not in their own.

Feel free to vent below.  But please don't say "how can you compare x to y?"  I'm comparing your faulty logic, not making any moral comparisons.