Politics of personal destruction

The ad hominem is an effective tactic in politics if measured by its popularity, it seems. KNIGHT: Foiling the left’s character assassination provides a summary of how political positions have been framed as those of evil.

“There is a story about a rabbi falsely accused of a great wrong. The accuser, having a bout of conscience, admitted to him that he had been mistaken, and asked what he could do. The rabbi took a pillow, ripped it open and let the wind scatter hundreds of feathers. “You can gather each and every one,” the rabbi said. Once reputations are damaged, they are difficult to restore.

This is why “Have you stopped beating your wife lately?” questions are so effective. Today’s political equivalent is a charge of bad motive, such as racism, homophobia, xenophobia or wanting to destroy the planet.”

Then the inventory is listed: Voter ID, definition of marriage, global warming, gun control, abortion, immigration, banking, poverty programs … each with how those opposing the left are framed as evil, ignorant, or just plain bad.

“When confronted with the politics of personal destruction, the unfairly accused need to resist going into a defensive crouch.”

Knight provides examples in a Socratic way about how the ad hominem should be addressed.

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