The New Trump Cards!
And, no! I am not speaking about the President of the United States.
If you know anything about card games, you have heard of playing the ‘trump card.’ The trump card always wins; whatever anyone plays in the current hand of cards is lost to whomever plays a ‘trump’ card. Trump is always the winner of the hand; nothing beats it (save a higher trump card). When trump is played, the hand is won and done.
So what are the trump cards being played today and by whom. Well the three big trump cards today are —
— You are a Racist;
— That is not politically correct;
— That is offensive.
Without regard to left or right of center politics, these three labels are used to attack the freedom of thought and of speech of any person who mentions any of the sacred cows in a conversation.
If you think and comment that a specific person, who happens to be black, is not doing a good job as a politician, you are stopped with the label ‘ you are a racist.’
If you have an opinion on a number of current issues contrary to whatever the prevailing thought might be, you are not ‘politically correct’ and should not voice those opinions. This might be combined with other trump cards such as Homophobe or Islamophobe.
If you speak out against any specific persons or comment on issues which happen to be related to some specific religious extraction, even though your comment has nothing to do with that specific religion (not unlike the Racist matter), then you are ‘offensive.’ It is as though not being offended is a constitutional right.
Now, getting to the basics of argumentation: There used to be a general rule of fair and logical argumentation that ‘ad hominem’ comments — i.e. comments (name calling) against the person of a debater/arguer, were strictly out of bounds. It is even said that once a person is reduced in his side of the argument to ad hominem arguments, since apparently he has nothing more to say on the issue at hand, he has lost the debate.
The use of the, now in vogue, trump cards are, to say the least, ad hominem arguments or attacks, which have no place in legitimate discussion. At worst, and this is how they should be treated, they are the final bastion of the bully.
Using the trump cards is meant solely to cut off the speaker using his or her fear of being labeled as either a racist, offensive or politically incorrect. It cuts off legitimate debate. It appeals to the masses as a winning strategy when the conclusion of legitimate debate would otherwise serve to inform and teach important points of politics, life or education. Its intended effect is to shut down fair comment; to keep the one who should be heard from being heard. Bullies seem to win quite a bit in society today.
These bullying tactics should be rejected by society as just what they are — attacks by persons who have nothing of intellectual standing to support their own positions and which happen to be, also, emotionally and intellectually deficient and ignorant of the full or true facts of any situation.
These bullying tactics should be summarily rejected as irrelevant, but they should be rejected in some way to send the message that such tactics are no longer acceptable.
And, quite frankly, they should be met by the counter, ‘your attack on my person is not only truly offensive, but irrelevant to this discussion.’ Another response might be, “well I see you have nothing more to add to your side of this discussion. I win.”