August 6th, 2012

The Mindless Laziness of “Both Sides Do It!”

Posted in Politics, Society by MB

Continuing on a theme:

“Basically, saying “both sides do it” is a form of trolling. In almost every case, when a Very Serious Person says “both sides do it,” “both sides are to blame” or any of its variants, it is to shut down discussion, not to bring it to a deeper, more nuanced level. (There are exceptions, but they are few. We’ll delve into this further in future posts.) Obsessing about “tone” and other cosmetics serves the same function. ‘Sensible Centrism’ is very popular because it gives the appearance of wisdom, objectivity, independence, impartiality and so on without having to commit to much of anything.”

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  1. James Young says:

    On this, we agree completely.

    August 6th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

  2. Invisiblehand says:

    There are different categories of “they both do it” which have varying degrees of truth/dishonesty. But in short, lies are not created equal and I would say that the Republican/Tea Party platform is further off in fantasy-land.

    The reason to start talking, however, is to get past the rhetoric and at least try to get some facts on the table. FWIW, discussions with real people are not nearly as maddening as what is on television since there are things that normal left- and right-leaning individuals agree upon. For instance, on the hot-button topic of health care and PPACA, despite my position that for a first iteration it is largely positive, there are legitimate grips about the legislation. (Although I argued that Republicans largely lost their leverage on the legislation when the strategy to block at all costs was executed and central Democrats had to appeal to the liberal base.) But broadly speaking, regarding the rhetoric in the press, there is little incentive for most politicians to say things that are both clear and meaningful.

    August 7th, 2012 at 12:05 pm