Most insults of today at some point had an actual meaning for example at one point of time the word retard was a medical meaning before it was appropriated by hyperbolic people who used to it as means for exaggerating their counter parts behavior to a point where it lost the currency it had as a word of expression. This tendency to change the currency of words depending on the demand for given hyperbolic words is part of the evolution of language. This tendency when applied to politics and social issues it rather tends to be a tool for dishonesty rather than expansion of dialogues. Amongst the moderates the radical notions are just hyperbolic, comical or it is metaphorical or just meant to start a conversation.
Calling someone a Nazi for having disagreements with you is not just a being hyperbolic it is rather dehumanizing given the fact that Nazis are viewed as the limit of human cruelty in the west for the horrors they committed in the second world war. There nothing is more ironic and indicative of the current state of affairs then the way slurs like feminazi and free market fascism are as they show the attempts to use Nazi as a slur to dismiss the opposing side. During the rise of Obama the tea party rallied in rage about what they perceived as his authoritarian strip their movement was perceived by right leaning outlets as presented them hyperbolic since they often compared president Obama with the likes of Stalin and Hitler. Today the left leaning media has rather adapted the same tactics when it comes to their presentation of Trump. It is in fact one of those the gap arguments where what he does not matter for example when he praised the media used that it as an evidence that he is literally Hitler and today when he speaks up against the Kim Jong-un the media brings it as evidence that he is Hitler. The use of language as a weapon to assassinate the character of those with opposing views will only serve to further polarize human discourse and make communication with those who hold opposing views even harder. The main form of apologetics that apologists present is the claim that it is just a hyperbole however there is a limit to how much you can exaggerate and calling someone a Nazi or fascist because they believe in free market capitalism or have a different perception on gender for sure crosses the line of being hyperbolic and approaching the line of clear dishonesty and immaturity.
Comedy and satire have a value as a means and comedy can be a means to entertain ideas that are outside the norm. However that does not mean that comedy should be a shield to avoid criticism. During what is now infamously known as Heilgate when a bunch of white nationalists gathered in Washington Dc and made Nazi salutes not mention using words that Nazis used, when confronted about his action and getting a hit form the mainstream media Richard spencer and his friends resorted to claiming that it was just a joke in order to avoid defending their claims. When Buzz Feed`s chief editor was confronted by Tucker Carlson about the ideas that his publication writes he claimed that it was just jokes. The use of comedy as a shield to avoid criticism will make comedy lose its value and civil discourse become more difficult as one`s honesty and satirical views are not clearly separate from one another.
R/k selection theory is a biological classifies different animals based on their mechanism for reproduction. R selection being generally being mammals that are involved with their children’s lives while the k selection are animals that lay eggs and are less involved with their children’s survival. However the alt right try apply this principle to different races with the aim being that of comparing minorities to non-human animals and when they are confronted on this they will resort to calling it a metaphor when they are called out on their misrepresentation of biological concepts. When the progressive activist Linda Sarsour was called out for praising the North Korean authoritarian government she resorted to claiming that her claim that North Koreans have a good standard of life is just meant to start a conversation and dismissing those who opposed her as people who end the discourse before it even started. Being a metaphor or a conversation should not stop a claim from being addressed and challenged and thus there is practically no reason to even make these two excuses to avoid criticism.
Honesty is an important part of civil discourse and in order to maintain it people need stop using shields such as it is just comical as a mechanism to avoid criticism. People should try to understand the people on they are talking to rather than labeling them and dismissing them. While things like hyperbole and metaphor are good figurative means of communication they are by no means an excuse to avoid criticism from others. While satire is not something bad it is important that there is a clear difference between one`s real positions and jokes. It is important to understand that while comedy, metaphor, and labeling are a means for clear communication and don’t give one an immunity from criticism.
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