The Words I Will Use

There's a fine line between what we call rants and analysis. What I don't want this project to be is a rant. I want it to be a reasoned explanation of what I think is going on in our country right now.

The first posts I wrote here were very personal. As such, they contained a little more off color language than I wanted to bring to this project. So, I'm going to take a moment to talk about the language I'll use going forward.

To maintain some rhetorical discipline for these arguments, I'm going to avoid swearing. Which any of you who know me in real life will understand what a personal burden that will be.

I'm also going to avoid exaggeration and superlatives. I feel the, "epic" linguistic trend has dilluted our language. When I use the words, "existential threat" which I will, I want them to mean exactly that and not just something that's a bit of a bummer.

At the same time I will not equivocate. There may be two sides to every story but there's also reality. Reality can be something in the middle of two views, more or less aligned with one side or another, or completely off in another direction. If I ask two people to guess my secret numberand say it's 7. If one person says 8 and the other 2, my secret number is somewhere between the guesses but it's a lot closer to 8 than 2. By the way, we're not going for crazy. If you think the Clintons had Vince Foster killed or Bush personally delivered the explosives to the World Trade Center then reading this will likely be a frustrating experience for you.

So if I'm talking about Hilary Clinton, I'm not going to Breitbart for facts. If I'm talking about George W. Bush, I'm not citing left wing truthers. Just like if I'm talking about vaccines or GMOs, I'm not going to natural news.

Lastly, I will not participate in name calling. This means you shouldn't see the words, "bigot", "evil" or "stupid". If someone says something racist, that's racism. If they do something sexists, that's sexism. If they do something jingoistic, that's jingoism. And if someone does all three, well we have a compact mechanism in English for making lists, it's called a comma.

Further, If they do something hurtful or cruel, that's meanness and cruelty. If they do something ill-informed, well almost all these things come down to a genuine lack of information or a fundamental disagreement about the facts. We have a lot of people in this country with fundamentally different ideas about the nature of our reality. If we can't put aside those differences and come to some kind of agreement, then there's no point in talking.