Political Correctness Bites . . . Me in the Ass!

Political Correctness Bites . . . Me in the Ass!

—March 24, 2017

OK, so I experienced a first yesterday. Or perhaps I have experienced this before, but was just never aware of it. The “this” being rejection from a potential job due to my political leanings and/or politically incorrect postings made on social media.

In short, a potential client emailed me to request samples of my work because she could not open the original samples I had sent along with my initial proposal/application. A request like this is akin to getting a nibble on a fish hook, but I didn’t get super excited or bother to second guess the original samples I sent, but just resent those originals. I am confident in my skills, tend to get a fair number of bites in my constant fishing expedition for freelance editorial gigs, and felt that I had provided the client with enough initial information with which to gauge my skill set and ability to handle the job.

Not to say that there wasn’t a bit of excitement, as the job—content development for a large website dealing with subject matter I find quite interesting—would have brought in some fairly decent coin and what I believed to be likely work satisfaction.

I went about my business after responding to the request and received this email response about an hour later: “I am no longer considering you for the position. Thanks for applying.”

Rejection is a standard part of the freelance process, but in this game rejection often comes without any notice—one just never hears back from the potential client.

I appreciated that she had taken a moment to inform me that I was no longer in consideration, and so answered the email by thanking her for the politeness of letting me know. Perhaps I even let out slight sigh of dejection as I turned my attention back to other work, but within a few minutes noticed I had eight new notifications on my Twitter feed.

This seemed odd as I had not posted anything in a couple of days. Lo and behold, it was my potential client, vigorously taking issue in 140-characters-or-less with various comments I had posted over the past few months. It was quite apparent that my posts irritated her and that she heartily disagreed with them, but I will not claim that she was overly aggressive or obnoxious (though I imagine that I could easily respond in a manner that would provoke her into the screeching illogical rage that seems to be coming from so many on the Left these days).

Speaking of “logic,” most of my former-potential client’s posts were noteworthy for their lack of it. Some of her responses served as non sequiturs as they weren’t really addressing the issues I was originally posting about, and a couple of others relied on the oft-used-by-the-Left “red herring” and “strawman” fallacies. And one just served as a non-sensical sarcastic rant.

Now, to give my former-potential client a touch of leeway, she was responding to my 140-characters-or-less with her own 140-characters-or-less. It is difficult to make a succinct argument in 140 characters or less; nuances, sarcasm and humor can often be missed; and the point of such postings can easily be misinterpreted.

Anyhow, upon realizing that I had perhaps been rejected due to my Tweets, I sent her another email message stating that “I now understand that perhaps the rejection is politically motivated. And apparently you now plan on trolling me. Interesting!”

And it is interesting on so many different levels. I would like to examine her actions and other posts more at length, but the narcissist in me is telling me to bring the focus back to me, me and I.

So, my first thought upon realizing the likely reason for my rejection was, wow, do I need to be more careful with what I Tweet? And then, when I determined that she had spent a fair amount of time reviewing my website (first-time play in Oak Creek, baby!), I briefly thought, wow, maybe I should be more careful with what I put down on my website?            

….Yeah, no. Fuck that!—much like I’m not about to start checking my alleged “privilege,” I am not about to start checking my writing due to political/political correct considerations. 

Bottom line is I am who I am, believe what I believe, and will stand firmly for both (though always willing to question and debate aforementioned beliefs). And these days, with the country so significantly divided on so many different issues, it doesn’t matter where one stands on the political spectrum, as roughly 50 percent of the population stands in opposition.

And judging from today’s job rejection, I guess this pretty much means that folks should just assume that 50 percent of a given job market may be closed to them. Of course, that assumption would be a gross generalization and illogical conclusion.

Wouldn’t it?

Be Like Mr. Spock and Hash It Out With Logic in Mind

Be Like Mr. Spock and Hash It Out With Logic in Mind

“If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be truth.”

—Mr. Spock, Science Officer/Second Officer; USS Enterprise

So you’re hashing-it-out with your buddy, who seems to have the upper hand and is poised to win the argument, but then you flatly state, “most illogical,” refute the tenets of his argument with ease, and then counter with your own logical brilliance, which proves beyond reproach and not subject to further dispute.

Sound far-fetched?

Well, it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is be like Spock, and make sure that your side of the argument is logically structured….

OK, so that may prove to be a a stretch, but at the least you should be able to refute any fallacies within your opponent’s argument, which in turn should makes your position in the argument that much stronger. And guess what, fallacies tend to run rampant within context of most everyone (especially politicians) trying to make a case. The key is in being able to A) recognize a fallacy when utilized by your sparring partner, and B) then being able to swiftly articulate how the fallacy renders their side of the argument moot.

And, you didn’t hear it from me, but…familiarity with fallacies will allow you to utilize them when trying to bolster your own piss-poor excuse for an argument.

A fallacy is the use of “invalid” or otherwise “faulty reasoning in the construction of an argument. While some fallacies are committed intentionally in order to manipulate or deceive, many are construed by accident due to carelessness or ignorance.

Fallacies were originally identified by the ancient Greek philosophers, who basically spent their time drinking Greek wine, chasing peplos and hashing out every topic conceivable, from “what is the meaning of life?” to “does the soul reside in the heart or the mind?” to “what would be the best way to get Aphrodite into bed.” While today we at Hash-It-Out! are arguing about who would win the match up between Superman and Batman, some 2,400 years ago Aristotle and his buddies were undoubtedly arguing about who would win the matchup between Ares and Poseidon.

Fallacies can either be “formal” or informal. An argument based on a formal fallacy is always considered wrong, and can be proved so mathematically, while an informal fallacy may have a valid logical form, but may render the argument unsound due to a false premise. While there are less than two dozen recognized formal fallacies, there are more than 50 informal fallacies and numerous sub-variations of these fallacies.

Perhaps one of the most recognized formal fallacies is that of “affirming the consequent,” which mathematically is represented as:

  1. If X then Y
  2. 2. Y
  3. Therefore X

Or to put it in prose:

  1. If it rains my car will get wet.
  2. My car is wet.
  3. Therefore, it rained.

This represents a logical fallacy because it does not account for other possibilities. While the conclusion is an all likelihood true, something else—say, the neighborhood brat with a water balloon—could have caused the car to get wet.

While formal fallacies crop up in arguments, you are probably more likely to face an informal fallacy while you hash it out. In fact, you are undoubtedly already familiar with quite a few of them. Consider these:

Red herring—irrelevant subject matter inserted into the argument to draw attention away from the true subject of the argument.

 

The straw man—basing an argument on a misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.

Ad hominem (to the man)—attacking the opponent instead of the argument.

Appeal to authority—asserting something as true due to the position or authority of the person who asserted it.

Argument from ignorance—Assuming a truth because it has not been or cannot be proven false, or vice versa.

Begging the question—providing the conclusion of an argument as the premise.

Appeal to emotion—argument through a manipulation of emotions, rather than through valid reasoning (this one’s gotta sound quite familiar to all of you guys with girlfriends and wives—Doh! I’m gonna catch it from the girls for this note!).

Argumentum verbosium (proof by verbosity)—one of my personal favorites, in which the speaker utilizes so much jargon and obscure information that the audience is forced to accept the argument in lieu of admitting ignorance or lack of understanding.

So, know that you have a basic understanding about fallacies and logical reasoning, you might want to study upSpock-s-Brain-mr-spock-29467198-632-468 some more before you try to be like Mister Spock.

You can check out this website—Thoushaltnotcommitlogicalfallacies.com—for a more detailed primer on fallacies, or just Google “fallacy” to see what you come up with.

—Originally published March 22 in Hash It Out!