Saturday, February 1, 2020

Boring Rhetorical Tics the Left Needs to Retire, Part 3

First, let me pull these over from my fan blog:

The Left Needs to Retire These Rhetorical Tics

This one covers "believe all women," "stay in your lane," "alt-right hate group," and "racist/sexist/homophobic."

More Boring Rhetorical Tics the Left Needs to Retire

This one covers "incel," "educate yourself," and "white privilege/systemic white supremacy."

And today, let us add two more:

8. Our opponents are dumb.

I talked about this on Tuesday in re: Don Lemon's amazing display of snobbish bigotry. No: there is no credible evidence whatsoever that people on the right are unusually imbecilic. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop leftists on either side of the Atlantic from arguing that Trump supporters, Leave voters, and other similarly populist political tribes have been uniquely misled by blatantly false propaganda and are, in general, stupid country bumpkins fit to be extras in the upcoming Hollywood reboot of Deliverance.

Of course, whenever they make this argument, leftists always conveniently ignore the loads of bullshit propaganda that people on their side have bought wholesale -- like, for example, that "true socialism has never been tried." Or that the current generation is going to die in a climate-change-fueled fireball if we don't scuttle our economies right this second. To be perfectly honest, I think this kind of idiocy is far more dangerous right now because it actually enjoys mainstream sanction. Last time I checked, it wasn't a young-Earth creationist who was selected as Time's "person of the year"; it was instead a teenaged climate alarmist who believes the aforementioned fireball hooey and yet still gets taken seriously by a bunch of adults who really should know better. (And I say this as someone who is generally supportive of rational environmentalism and prudent conservation efforts.)

Bottom line, no one group has a monopoly on stupidity.

9. [Insert thing here] needs to be more diverse.

Hmm. Well, that depends on what you mean by "diverse," doesn't it?

A government task force assembled to address the new coronavirus should probably have people from several different relevant fields, including infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, emergency management professionals... wait, what?

Oh, I see. You mean that this task force can't be all white.

Dear God, skin color has fuck-all to do with whether this task force will be able to competently respond to a potential pandemic. You should be looking for people who are maximally qualified -- not checking demographic boxes.

I hate, hate, hate the left's sustained attack on the concept of merit. I hate it when it crops up in the geeky crap I enjoy, and I hate it even more when it crops up in fields that are actually vital to the continued health and safety of our society. If the latter continues, people might actually die.

If you want to see more diverse faces on science panels, there's a very simple thing you should do: You should go to elementary schools across the country and tell kids from all backgrounds that to be scientists, they must put in years of effort learning the prerequisite material. And then, when necessary, you should support them in that endeavor -- which might mean dipping into university endowments to set up prep academies in under-served areas so that every child has access to a rigorous, knowledge-based STEM curriculum. Indeed, as a high school math tutor, I'm firmly convinced that one of the best "educational equity" programs you could possibly devise is an after-school "math facts camp" for third graders (and a similar "fractions camp" for fifth graders). But the one thing you must never, ever do is drop the standards to prematurely force the end results to be more cosmetically appealing.

Sorry, CNN, but when it comes to genuine justice, there are no shortcuts.


  1. I'll propose one more: "this has (destroyed / restored) my faith in humanity."

    But then, without empty platitudes, what's left of the left?

  2. 8. Our opponents are dumb.

    Exit polls that asked educational level used to include high school dropouts. IIRC, the last time I saw an exit poll with high school dropouts included was 2008- where high school dropouts voted 65% for Democrats. I suspect that the media eliminated the "high school dropout" category because it reflected poorly on Democrats.

    1. The Democrat base evolved into a Dumbbell Distribution. It's got a big bulge on each end of the wealth/education graph with a dramatic thinning of their numbers in the middle.

  3. For the children. Assault rifle. Greedy *everything*.

  4. Nice! Only thing I'd add is that there are, in fact, a number of large studies that show that conservatives are not only more politically informed but also more literate and with greater scientific knowledge than people on the left. We certainly are more subject to reason as anyone who has tried to engage in debate about most subjects with your average lefty can easily attest.

  5. Oy! Yes, as a retired teacher, I agree. Too many slightly-above-average kids have the erroneous idea that they are "gifted". Usually because their pushy parents strong-armed the schools into putting them into the programs. Might be wealthy parents, politically connected parents, or - yes, this DOES happen - minority parents prepared to take a refusal as "racism".

    There are factors far more important to future success than IQ:
    - social awareness, people-smarts
    - experience with hard work
    - having run a small business (yardwork, babysitting, sales)
    - decent character, moral strength
    - energy, enthusiasm

    Instead, the pushy parents force-feed academic cramming, rather than developing the whole child. Gets you a pseudo-smart kid with no people skills and no respect for those who work with their hands.