A message for all "TRUE" Democrats
by itsthemedia, Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:48:46 PM EDT
On another thread, I pointed out to somebody that they were engaged in the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.
Usually, this fallacy is the province of religious zealots, but there has been a lot of it around MyDD. I thought it would get better after the primary ended, but it just seems to come up in diary after diary, especially from certain commenters.
The basic pattern (which I have repeated multiple times with different interlocutors) goes like this:
Person 1) [insert incendiary comment]
Person 2) You are a troll.
Person 1) I am not a troll, you are.
Person 2) You are not a real Democrat. I know because [insert random flimsy reasoning]
Itsthemedia) You are committing a fallacy. You want person 1 to not be a real Democrat because you disagree; you are not reaching that conclusion from any real evidence.
Person 2) Whatever. [perhaps some more flimsy reasoning]
So by "whatever", does person 2 mean s/he knows s/he is indulging in a fallacy and does not care, or s/he does not think s/he is indulging in that fallacy? I will assume the latter, because if it is the former, there is no way for us to have a rational discussion.
Lots of Dems say "DEMS" for short. Plenty even say "Democrat Party", especially in the south, where the use of the term has been most ubiquitous since Newt Gingrich recommended its use about two decades ago. Sadly, there are Democrats who vote for the Republican candidate in every cycle, and this year will be no exception. The way to minimize it is to try to engage those voters, not reject them and tell them they are not welcome. Lastly, taking issue with the candidate on some issue is not the same as trashing him. Likewise, hating on those who have more faith in Obama and are willing to cut him slack on certain issues is the other side of the ideological purity trolling coin. Dissent is not treason, either to the country or the party. There are millions of Democrats whose first choice was not Obama. That does not make this cycle unique by any stretch, but the challenge before us is unity, not purification.
My message to the "TRUE" Democrats out there:
You do not get to say who is a "real" Democrat. You just don't. The fact is that anyone who is legally entitled to vote can register as a Democrat, and that registration is the only criterion that may be legitimately used to classify who is a Democrat and who is not. If you can't handle a party with a big tent, you can't handle being in the Democratic Party, because that is the ONLY way the Democrats have ever won, and they are not going to change to satisfy your notions of ideological purity.