Friday, January 14, 2011

That "false equivalency" fallacy

I really, really appreciate the direct message of this headline:

Let's Get This Straight: There Is No Progressive Equivalent to the Right's Violent Rhetoric

And here's the lead:

The shooting in Tucson was not an anomaly. It was an inevitability, and as long as we play this foolish game of "both sides are just as bad," it will be inevitable again.

The article gets started this way:

Both sides are, in fact, not "just as bad," when it comes to institutionally sanctioned violent and eliminationist rhetoric.

An anonymous commenter at Daily Kos and the last Republican vice presidential nominee are not equivalent, no matter how many ridiculously irresponsible members of the media would have us believe otherwise.

There is, demonstrably, no leftist equivalent to Sarah Palin, former veep candidate and presumed future presidential candidate, who uses gun imagery (rifle sights) and language ("Don't Retreat, RELOAD") to exhort her followers to action.

Then, one example after another is offered from Glen Beck to Ann Coulter to Bill O'Reilly and on and on. Then this conclusion:

And as long as we continue to play this foolish game of "both sides are just as bad," and rely on trusty old ablism to dismiss Jared Lee Loughner as a crackpot—dutifully ignoring that people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators; carefully pretending that the existence of people with mental illness who are potentially dangerous somehow absolves us of responsibility for violent rhetoric, as opposed to serving to underline precisely why it's irresponsible—it will be inevitable again.

The article is by Melissa McEwan. I recommed it. The comments too.

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