“Those who cannot understand how to put their thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of debate.” – Frederick Nietzsche
Have you ever been engaged in an argument with someone, when they suddenly lure you down a rabbit hole with a series of unrelated accusations? As comedian Bill Burr says, it is in that moment when you know you have won the debate. There are two possible reasons why someone would disengage from the topic at hand: one, they know that their position is not as strong as their opponent’s position, and thus, will be defeated if they stay on topic, or two, they are simply terrible debaters. Generally speaking, I have found the former to be true the majority of the time.
One way to veer off track, and shut down further debate is to label your opponent’s position, and thus your opponent, as racist, sexist, xenophobic, bigoted, or any other epithet that has exceedingly negative connotations. People are deeply fearful of being labeled as racist, or sexist, etc, and so with this stamp, this mark, many will fall back, and refrain from further debate. In this way, the labeler has won; they have shut down the debate. However, in a debate with a liberal, these terms will arise frequently, and we cannot be afraid, because once those labels pass their lips, it is a strong indication that they are losing, and looking for the easiest way to stop you from dragging them to the logical conclusion of the argument. It is in these times that we must not fall back, but press forward with greater momentum, and enthusiasm.
On November 4th, the voters in the state of Oregon overwhelmingly rejected measure 88, which would have allowed illegal immigrants to be granted drivers licenses. 67.4% of Oregon voters voted “No,” while only 32.6% voted “Yes.” Nearly 7 out of 10 voters told the state that granting licenses to illegals was a bad idea. Lo and behold, those who supported the measure came out in full force to label any, and all who opposed it as—you guessed it—RACISTS!
Twitchy.com gathered some of the outrage, and here are some of my favorite hate-Tweets:
“I voted just so measure 88 could pass & now I’m disappointed that it didn’t. Thanks to those racist white people that voted NO,F#@% ya’ll“
– Tu Chaparita❤♔ (@dominguezjayy)
“One of the reasons measure 88 didn’t pass is people who are against immigrants having the same rights just want to make their life’s harder.”
– Daisy (@daisy__v)
“The campaign against Measure 88 was fueled by outright racism. A stain on Oregon’s reputation. Nothing short of sin. #ORElection”
Rev. Chuck Currie @RevChuckCurrie
“F#@% you to everybody that voted against measure 88 you’re nothing but a racist piece of sh&* #ORElection”
Jonathan Bautista @45jonnyboy
A Twitter user who goes by the name Ricky Dicky has even pledged that if he gets 200 retweets, he will burn down the house of a measure 88 opposer.
This is what shutting down debate really looks like. I’m curious, what exactly about voting “No” on measure 88 is racist? First, as exhibited by one of the tweets I posted, and several others from Twitchy, there seems to be a mistaken belief that a vote against measure 88 was a vote against immigrants. Nope. There is a very critical difference between immigrant, and illegal immigrant. Second, is there any evidence whatsoever that those who voted “No” on measure 88 did so because a great majority of illegal immigrants are not white? Nope. According to the official “No On 88” website, there are numerous legitimate reasons why the state of Oregon should not allow illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. Those reason include:
– “Citizenship is meaningless if illegal immigrants are allowed to enter and remain in this country encouraged and unchallenged.”
– “This bill does not make the state safer, as proponents claim…the 2012 DMV report shows NO change in the rate of uninsured/unlicensed drivers since the stronger 2008 driver license bill went into effect.”
– “The most important document a Mexican drug cartel operative might possess is a valid state driver card or license. It would enable them to drive up and down I-5 and throughout Oregon and sell their drugs. If a state trooper happened to pull them over for a traffic violation, the drug dealer could produce his Oregon driver card or license and it would be less likely the state trooper would have probable cause to search his vehicle.”
– “Making life comfortable for illegal aliens only encourages more to come. Already Oregon taxpayers pay over $1 billion annually for services to illegal aliens. SB 833 will greatly increase this financial burden by encouraging more to come.”
After scouring the website, I found absolutely nothing indicating any racist intent lurking behind the measure 88 opposition. In fact, the talking points I referenced above, as well as the ones I didn’t include, provide a compelling argument against measure 88. If nothing else, they provide material which should be debated rationally, and calmly. But the other side knows that their position is weak, and indefensible, so they aggressively shut down the debate by screaming “RACISM!”
So how do the hate-Tweeters know that those opposed to measure 88 are racists? They don’t. They have zero evidence to support their cries. They simply don’t want to participate in a legitimate debate about the issue of illegal immigration, and the effects it has on the United States, and the state of Oregon in particular.
Don’t let anyone shut you up by defining your legitimate positions as racist, sexist, xenophobic, or bigoted. Let that fuel you to advance further, because pejoratives are a sign of weakness.