Friday, July 8 2005

“Chickenhawk”: childish name-calling or disingenious debating tactic?

Based on these comments over at Cold Fury, I’m going to have to say “both”. It’s not just a baseless insult, it’s a way to avoid discussing the issues by insisting that your opponent is not allowed to disagree with you.

Conveniently, if your opponent has served in a war, you can dodge the debate again by calling him a “baby-killer”. Both are about as productive as Ann Coulter calling everyone to her Left a “traitor”.

In the spirit of chicken-labeling, though, I decided to see how the argument held up when applied to other contentious public policy issues:

  • If you support gay marriage without sucking dick yourself, you’re a chickencock.
  • If you oppose privatizing Social Security without relying on it as your sole method of retirement planning, you’re a chickenstock.
  • If you insist that organic agriculture should replace conventional without saving your own waste products for fertilizer, you’re a chickenshit.
  • If you insist that violence is always wrong but call the cops when someone mugs you, you’re a chickenpacifist.
  • If you oppose legal abortion without adopting, you’re a chickenparent.

I could go on, but I can’t come up with a single example that isn’t trivial, silly, or dishonest. Just like the original.