What I do find odd, however, is the extreme oversimplification of ideas, and the appropriation of language I'm witnessing in all the posts, articles, sonnets, and tweets over the past few days; specifically the overuse of "love" and "hate". You can't go anywhere online without reading the "Love beats Hate", Love Wins", Love is love is love is love", "Hate loses", Love > Hate", "Don't Let Hate Win", "Hate is bad, Love is Good", "Good is better than Bad", "Better is Gooder than Good", "Best is Better than Better", or as the blog title is called "Better is Bester than Good". (Sadly, only a few of these were invented for this post, the rest are very real). While all of these statements might sound great, feel good, and make for a quick meme or chant...they really don't mean anything. They're obvious, self-evident, and borderline propaganda. Love is Better than Hate? Is there anyone that doesn't agree with that? (Aside from the evil, the insane, or the perpetually contradictory people that just like to be annoying?) I'd argue no...so what's the point in saying it? Additionally, as I learned teaching rhetorical devices this year, simplifying a debate down to two words is an example of Loaded Words, False Cause and Effect, Either/Or, Bandwagon Effect, and likely handful of other logical fallacies. It's like arguing that eating is better than starvation, breathing is better than suffocating, seeing is better than not seeing, and fun is better than work. It automatically shuts down any conversation that might follow; it sets up one's argument as immediately victorious while condemning anyone who might have a different solution as the "hater". And yet for some reason...it's everywhere. Hashtags, filters, landmarks, and emojis and all. Of course there will be no change because is no debate. There's no room for one when choices are "Agree or Evil".
(And to clarify, there's no debating that mass murder is anything but Evil, I'm not suggesting that action is in any way "nuanced." If you want to say "the shooter was evil and the victims are innocent", that's understandable and accurate. The problem is when the buzzwords creep into the political debates that follow. Some of the issues at hand are about a) who's to blame b) how to prevent this c) the value/devalue of group-identity politics and d) the role of the United States' foreign policy. None of which can be fully discussed through a "Love v. Hate" dichotomy.)
So whatever your views on these issues, if you must discuss them online, let's stick to a) actually discussing ideas and b) avoiding all the fallacious rhetoric. It might be good for the politicians and corporations prerogative to do so, but that's because they've all got a product to sell. The rest of us, if you feel like this is a debate you want to engage in, do without the buzzwords. Be better, because better is bester than good.