Incivility, slogans and the mob

by bandicootonaburnedridge

“Dogwhistle” slogans are the stuff of threads – that is, formulated slogans that seem harmless or (more often) meaningless, but nevertheless have a specific meaning to particular communities.

The dogwhistle referred to is the ultrasonic (or at least beyoud human hearing) whistle that was meant to be audible to dogs but not humans. No mention of cats, ‘possums, birds or assorted domestic rodents.
In that this is a reassuring scent marker (to extend the canine analogy) for your clan, tribe or pack, it is probably harmless. More usually, though, it serves as a rallying point for a mob attack on a heretical view. The aim is to drown out dissening views (the political version of a DDOS attack). And, too often, it succeeds.

Open discussion requres civility and a sense of perspective, which is rare in blog threads. Humour helps, but abuse is not humour. A willingness to accept alternate perspectives and to change ones own mind is needful.

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