17 9 / 2012
"A false argument should be refuted, not named. That’s the basic idea behind freedom of speech. Arguments by demonization, rather than truth and light, can be presumed to be fraudulent. Real hate speech does not have to be flagged and labeled. It speaks for itself. If a person makes an argument that is, in fact, “racist” (anti-Semitic, sexist, looksist - whatever), that fact ought to be self-evident. Simply restating the argument would expose the wily bigot - if bigotry it is - without a big warning label screaming “Racist!” “Sexist!” “Homophobic”!
But ad hominem attack is the liberal’s idea of political debate. They self-consciously hold themselves outside the argument and make snippy personal comments about anyone who is actually talking about something. The Republican’s motives are analyzed, his intelligence critiqued, his personal life unearthed. If it were true that conservatives were racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist, stupid, inflexible, angry, and self-righteous, shouldn’t their arguments be easy to deconstruct? Someone who is making a point out of anger, ideology, inflexibility, or resentment would presumably construct a flimsy argument. So why can’t the argument itself be dismembered rather than the speaker’s personal style or hidden motives?"