The libtards are at it again.
Tory scum are to blame.
Remoaners are pathetic.
All Tories are fascists.
Liblabcon got us into this mess.
Thatcher was a Nazi.
Aren’t you fed up with all that meaningless abuse? Perhaps not. The trouble is that an awful lot of my “friends” indulge in it. We all agree that those nasty people who send death threats to decent Great Ormond Street Hospital doctors and nurses are beyond the pale. But do we also agree that the use of foul abuse directed at those who hold different political opinions from us is reprehensible?
Well, I do. But my impression is that I am almost alone in being so weedy.
What is meant by “libtard”, a word which appears in countless social media comments written by those on the right to describe people whose opinions are different from theirs? I think I have worked it out. It means that anyone with a liberal approach to politics is mentally retarded. It is used as a sort of shorthand to avoid actually tackling the arguments of those at whom it is directed.
“Tory scum” is easy enough to understand. It just means that anyone who adheres to the Conservative Party is the scum of the earth. As with libtard, it is used in order to avoid rational argument.
“Remoaners” is probably a little (tiny bit) more subtle. Remoaners are people who regret the Brexit referendum result, but can’t accept that it has happened. Yet again, it is a term of abuse which is used in place of actual argument.
It has long been the practice of some on the left in politics to accuse those on the right of being “fascists”. It is a term used particularly, and therefore rather oddly, to describe libertarians. Once again (are we beginning to detect a theme?) it is employed with the aim of avoiding debate.
“Liblabcon” is a bit of a favourite of mine. It is a term employed by members of the UK Independence Party to demonstrate that anyone who supports any party other than Ukip is guilty of confidence tricks. Yes, how tedious, it is used to avoid debate.
Finally, there is the inevitable accusation that Margaret Thatcher was a “Nazi”. This is one which will run and run. Lady Thatcher is a demon figure in left wing mythology. The left reckon that she is still admired by some Conservatives (obviously not by Mrs May) and they find it convenient to dismiss her as a modern Hitler so as, yet again, to avoid a real argument with those sad specimens who still approve of her.
The internet has brought us many advantages. It is a wonderful thing. But it does seem to have encouraged an awful lot of nonsense and a fair amount of plain beastliness. It strikes me as being decidedly odd that this device, which ought to encourage debate, has closed it down.
I don’t really know about Twitter (it is too complicated for me), but I see Face Book. And what I see, apart from lots of holiday pics, are masses of furious posts, containing no rational argument at all, accusing others of evil or insanity. I am, I suspect, unusual in that I have Face Book friends of pretty well every political persuasion. I can therefore peek into their group think sessions. And what I see are all those silly abusive terms, with no sane argument at all.
When, in the olden days, we conducted political debate face to face, in pubs, at supper parties, over lunch etc., we knew we had to present a rational case if we had any hope of winning the argument. Now, we (or you, I should say), restrict our (your) audiences to those who will agree with us (you). And what could be easier than just hurling abuse at our (your) opponents?
Oh well, we are stuck with this new approach to “debate”. We must just put up with it.