Or consider the finely crafted argument, “You’re a racist!!!!” (or a homophobe or a sexist or Islamophobic or whatever you like). What purpose does such a comment serve besides silencing the opposition? And what purpose is there to silencing the opposition except to obscure the fact that it might be in the right? If someone says behaviors in the black community are destroying black families and increasing their generational poverty… or redefining marriage is dangerous to the social structure… or women are less rational than men or Islam is a degrading philosophy… these statements are either true or false, useful or not useful, important or unimportant. The character of the person making them is largely irrelevant — but the fact that someone resorted to the argument ad hominem should make a warning light go off in your mind.
And as a final example of such cons: “You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.” The Wall Street Journal this weekend had two writers of opposing opinions address the question: Has the sexual revolution been good for women? The feminist who answered yes began her argument with this masterpiece of disingenuousness: “Here’s the thing about revolutions — you can’t take them back….If you feel that the sexual revolution destroyed the American family by giving women power over their reproductive choices, and that power turned daughters and wives… into a bunch of wanton hussies, well, stew over your feelings all you want, but you might as well give up thinking that it is possible to herd us up and drive us back into the kitchen….”
Do lefties really fall for garbage like that? Why? Everything about that argument is meant to make you stop thinking. I need hardly point out that the relative chastity of the Victorian era in Britain followed the relative promiscuity of the Restoration period and was in turn followed by the roaring twenties which were followed by the fifties — so that, while, yes, there’s no going back, one can always go forward in a new direction. Nor need I point out that some of us who feel the Sexual Revolution hurt women may have our fellow creatures’ good at heart. The only thing you really need to know is that the writer is trying to obscure, not illuminate, the situation. That alone should make you start asking questions.
Like this one: Are you stupid… or what?