Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Word for the Day

refudiate \ri-ˈfyü-dē-ˌāt\  1. To reject an opponent's arguments as untrue or unjust 2.  to refuse to accept -- giving argument or evidence. 3. To divorce or separate formally from because it is untrue or incorrect.
I voted.   I voted extra hard.  I darkened my ovals darker and oval-er.  Just for added emphasis.

I like Sarah's word.   You know, all of us, in the course of speaking, have unintentionally combined words -- usually when you have two words that mean approximately the same thing and you're trying to figure out which one to use and you change your mind while speaking one of them.  Everybody does it.  Bush, Palin, you, me, Obama ...

I also love what Palin and others did with the word as soon as the hecklers started heckling it.  She kept using it, but on purpose --even emphasizing it --  to rub their faces in it.  Sometimes not showing fear is the way to go.  Palin has an instinct for this that the rest of us can learn from.

Today I voted to refudiate.   To refudiate the idea that this is a fringe or extremist movement.  To refudiate the idea that America wants this health care bill, this increase in government size, this movement further toward the nanny state.   I voted to refudiate the idea that "We Are All Socialists Now".

There are those who are going to laugh again and say that this is not a word and it only shows our ignorance.   To them I say this:
You are angry.  I understand.  And when you're angry, sometimes you don't think clearly.  You cling to the Language of the Past™, when you need to move forward. 


philmon said...

Really -- they're clinging to the past. They want to tell everyone how they must live their lives. And you know, we all know that's just code.

"The past"? "Telling people how they must live their lives?"

Mmmm-hmmm. See, they want to go back to the days of slavery. What does that sound like to you? Because they're racist. Yeah. That's it.

Well turnabout's fair play, no?

Severian said...


I love the word, but you know they're going to call us racists, and bitter clingers, and babies, and all the rest no matter HOW big the margin...

I've actually told liberal acquaintances: "look, dude: I would LOVE to be like you. Really. If I were a liberal, life would be so much easier. 'Cause ya see, I hate being wrong. HATE it. If I were a liberal, that would never be a problem. I also hate having to think about stuff, and gather evidence, and form opinions, and admit when I don't know something (which happens all the time). Liberalism means never dealing with any of those things. If you could give me a pill that turned me into a liberal, I'd take it in a heartbeat. Besides, I love being preachy and self-righteous (it's why I comment on blogs). But I can't, because I live in the real world, where effects have causes and actions have consequences."

My prediction? No more than 5% of precincts report in before the entire media starts playing the race card.

philmon said...

You're probably right, Sev.

On the other hand, the good news is is that card has been SOOOOOOO overplayed that we're not afraid of it anymore. Don't let them define you. You know you're not. I know I'm not. People who know me know I'm not. And they know I'm involved with a Tea Party group and went to 8/28 in DC.

Sooner or later people start thinking, "hey... that doesn't jive with what I know to be true."

And they stop paying attention to it. They're The Boy Who Cried 'Racist'.

Glenn Beck is right. There are more of us (normal, reasonable people) than theere are of them. And they are afraid of being wrong. When the mirror is finally held up to them and they realize they've got no clothes, all but the most hard core will go into hiding -- and that means blending in with us, pretending they were with us all along.

And that would be a good thing.

Severian said...

True enough. I spent lots of time trying to find a silver lining in the ascent of Dear Leader, and found two. The first -- that I can seriously see myself living as an expatriate as America's skid down the tubes picks up speed-- need not concern us. The other is that maybe, finally, we will see the race card retired. Not because it lacks a certain rhetorical utility -- you can still hear people invoking "false consciousness" on occasion, for the love of Jeff -- but because more folks will start to realize that a certain segment of the body politic will call anyone who votes against socialism a racist regardless of any and all facts on the ground. It'll be like elementary school kids on the playground calling each other "retard" - so overused, and so obviously untrue, as to not even register.

But then I got to thinking a bit more, and I realized that this might actually have a nontrivial chance of making things worse (thinking on Dear Leader's America for any length of time tends to do that to me). There actually are honest-to-god racists out there - check any online human biodiversity thread that goes longer than three posts. Isn't the "race card," as overused and pathetic as it is, at least keeping some of this stuff in check? In other words: when calling someone a "racist" is the exact equivalent of one seven year old calling another a "retard" or a "faggot" on the playground, won't that empower actual racists to be more open in their views? And -- as any of the aforementioned HBD threads will reveal -- there are lots of people at least broadly receptive to that kind of message.

Depressing, innit? I hear Costa Rica's nice this time of year...

philmon said...

"... won't that empower actual racists to be more open in their views?"

Well... no. It won't. If they think it does, they'll be in for a rude awakening.

Because people know evil when they see it. Exactly what is making the "racism" charge tired is people also the reason real racists won't be let off the hook.

Because people know what it is, and they know what it isn't. And they know calling something something it isn't doesn't make it that thing.

Here's the bottom line. People have the right to be racist. But that doesn't make racism right. Still, they can sit there and hate on whomever, and that's fine. Until they do something about it other than just physically avoiding them. In other words, until they impinge on the life, liberty, or property of those whom they, however unjustly, hate.

Severian said...

"Because people know evil when they see it..."

I hope you're right... I really, really do. It's just that the political history of the past 100 years or so suggests otherwise.

Lots of truly evil regimes have been shockingly open about their methods and intentions, and yet they have defenders to this day. Try asking your average liberal arts professor what, specifically, was wrong with Stalin's Russia, or Mao's China, or the Khmer Rouge or the Shining Path. Odds are you'll get a lot of hemming and hawing about procedural stuff of the "you can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs" or "real communism has never been tried" variety. Hell, take a look at the leftist response to anything in the Middle East -- it's pretty much "yeah, but Israel is worse!," full stop. LOTS of people, not just perfessers, still think Cuba's the bees knees because they have "100% literacy and universal health care."

And I'm sorry, but your assertion that folks "know calling something something it isn't doesn't make it that thing" is disproven -- refudiated, if you will - every time a talking head on any news network but Fox opens his or her pretty little yap (on Fox it's only 95% of the time). Case in point from your own post: "Sarah Palin is an idiot because she says things like 'refudiate.'" How many people still think she can see Russia from her house?

Honestly, I still believe in the fundamental decency and good sense of the majority of the American people. Aberrations like the 2008 election aside, we're basically a nice group of folks with a better-than-average grip on reality. But how long is that going to continue, especially when you consider that LOTS of the modern educational system, K-12 as well as university, is dedicated to the notion that you can actually make something so if you say it enough times? And what happens if (or, I fear, when) the Republican landslide of 2010 turns out to be yet another group of pork-shoveling, me-too ninnies? We're already at the point where lots of folks -- 52% or so of the country, at last count -- doesn't really understand that there's no necessary relationship between correlation and causation.

I don't think this stuff will happen, mind you -- with all my heart I pray it won't -- but I am saying there's a nontrivial chance of things getting really, really ugly.

Sorry to be such a bummer on what should be a hopeful day.

philmon said...

"Try asking your average liberal arts professor what, specifically, was wrong with Stalin's Russia, or Mao's China, or the Khmer Rouge or the Shining Path. Odds are you'll get a lot of hemming and hawing about procedural stuff of the "you can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs"

Ah, but that is because the Liberal Arts College Professors were taken seriously (either by force or by weasel words) and put in charge.

Hence the danger we see today with this administration of Liberal Arts thugs.

When you divorce your philosophy from the idea that rights are something men inherently have, and you substitute yourself into a position where you are bringing rights to man, you can justify all kinds of nasty, horrible things.

Unfortunately, this is precisely what most Liberal Arts College Professors have done. And its precisely why they should never be put in charge. At least not just because they are "experts".

On the "calling something something it isn't doesn't make it that thing" ... people know what racism is, deep down. Unfortunately, people's knowledge of geography and who said what, how, and when ... not so much.

I agree with you on the fundamental decency of people, and I *also* agree with you that there is a non-trivial chance that things could get ugly. But it won't be because people are fundamentally not decent. It will be because they allowed themselves to be overwhelmed or bamboozled by those who are not.

And as to your point about the 52%, last count was 2 years ago, and I think you'll find a very different count by the end of the evening.

Deal is, our work is only beginning. We have been lax for too long. This administration is a wake-up call. Perhaps ... perhaps ... it is a good thing that he was elected along with Pelosi-Reid to make it a power trio for Americans to take stock of just who we are.

And that's the work that has just begun. Today will be a cork in a big hole in a failing dam. It is not the solution - only a stopgap. We must work carefully but firmly with our friends and family members who have not woken up - one or two at a time -- to see what is good about America, why it was so successful, why the rickety boats in the Carribean are pointed in this direction.

That dam needs to be re-built from the ground up, on the excellent foundation our founders left behind.