Name calling doesn’t help win arguments

My local newsaper published my recent letter to the editor. They also placed it following another letter who used name-calling. If you concur, please feel free to use the following letter, making changes to meet your style and circumstances.

“As an independent voter, I find the use of labels and name-calling as shortcuts for people who do not have a good argument. When I see or hear terms like “conservative” or “liberal,” used like weapons, I tend to discount the message. When I see “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” I see someone trying to say you are crazy to feel the President is being untruthful or unwise with a particular path. When I see the terms “Nazism” or “Apartheid” used to define disagreement with a policy, they better be talking about heinous acts. Facts matter. Let’s civilly discuss the facts to resolve matters. Governance is hard enough, but even more so when people use over-simplified or inappropriate shortcuts.”

Sadly, one of the most prolific name callers happens to be the current US President. What does that say about our country, and what message does that send to our children?

21 thoughts on “Name calling doesn’t help win arguments

      • I told my kids the truth about all power mongers and abusers. The greatest fault is in thinking that because an individual makes it as a leader or becomes famous for any reason, s/he is de facto a role model. We are the role models and we should never be ashamed to claim that in front of our kids. That is our purpose isn’t it?

      • Sha’Tara, so true. Further, I used to believe our legislators were privy to better information which would enable them to at least make more informed decisions. Now, I see a group that believes what their funders tell them to believe, ignoring or downplaying real data. Since they spend 40% of their time fundraising, they do not have the time to learn. Keith

  1. Well put, Keith! It is truly sad that you have an unsavory and poorly-educated person in the White House. It’s one thing to disagree with certain policies and another to endure the constant personal harassment of individuals and the media by a person who needs, by the very definition of the office, to be a shining example of the best kind of person in America. November 2020 seems like a long way off as we all endure the daily chaos in the White House and the Congressional enablers.

    • Thanks John, interesting use of the word unsavory. One thing is for certain, the man wears me out. I am tired of the consistent state of flux. I crave a boringly competent and decent person. Too many issues are adversarial and need not be.

      • I’m sick of his sneer! Can’t wait to see his Press Secretary gone too!! She’s a piece of work. Unsavoury!!😊

  2. Note to Readers: Often examples help elaborate. The Affordable Care Act is imperfect and could use some changes to stabilize it. But, various opponents have equated it to Nazism, Apartheid and even slavery? Really? I would have loved to ask a follow-up, “Sir, help me understand how providing subsidized healthcare to people equates to slavery?”

  3. One of the great antidotes to this nonsense is Jill’s ‘Good People Doing Good Things’….children putting biological adults to shame.

      • These are small people of (to steal a phrase from a recent US tv series) ‘negligible character’

      • Roger, “negligible character” is apt. We have a leader who has publicly bragged more than once on his ability to commit sexual assault with impunity. He also name-calls and is untruthful. And, some if his followers think he is sent by God. Keith

      • Some of his followers should be careful about that, some folk could look into the Book of Revelations and bring up evidence he is the Anti-Christ.

      • Roger, that would be the penultimate name calling. I think I would rather say to the person telling me he is God-sent, “you must worship a different God than I do.” Keith

  4. Dear Keith,

    Your advice is so apropos. If the writer’s purpose is to possibly enlighten readers as to another point of view, the usage of name calling, belittling of others gets in the way of this objective. People shut down when they’re called names to where they don’t comprehend a word that’s being said.

    This indulgence only makes the writer feel a little more righteous while accomplishing absolutely nothing, of a constructive nature.

    Hugs, Gronda

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