Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Deplorable Language

If you repeat the lie often enough…
Hank: I feel insulted being addressed as if I were 6 years old.
Depp: Insulted by libellous language?
"EVERYONE knows…
they're BAD people… 
I alone can fix it.
Hank: No, being talked down to with overly simple expressions like, “She’s a very bad person,” and “They’re bad people.” Using unsupported sweeping generalizations like, “Everybody knows,” with no proof as to who says it. Or megalomanic pronouncements like, “I alone can fix it.” That’s how some people talk to kids.
Depp: But it simplifies the message, it appeals to a certain swath of voters.
Hank: Deplorables? Whoops, sorry. E.M. Forster wrote an essay called “Two Cheers for Democracy”. Forster understood the danger. “Two cheers for democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism. Two cheers are quite enough: There is no occasion to give three.” That’s what Forster said.


Countless memes comparing Trump with Hitler (sometimes inadvisedly) have been circulating for months. But this comparison is about language use, attitudes, conspiracy theories and extremism. That is how Hitler started out. We are not comparing track records in heinous acts. People who don’t understand the dangers of conspiracy theories and extremism often dismiss non-adherents as educated elites. As if schooling was something to be ashamed of. In this case, a little education, a little knowledge of history, could nip a calamitous consequence in the bud.

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