Political labeling considered harmful

Journalist Mike Masnick at Techdirt avoids naming politicians' party affiliation unless it’s essential to the story, because, he says, everybody then starts arguing on the basis of team rather than issues.

Maybe it makes sense for all of us to do the same in political discussions: avoid labels like Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, progressive, MAGA, lefist, and so on. It’s just a lot of tribalism and name-calling.

Clearly, you often have to use labels. For example, right now, there’s already a lot of talk about the 2024 Presidential election, and if you’re talking about a particular candidate, you often need to say which party nomination he’s seeking, especially if the candidate is not well known on the national stage.

But much of the time, the labeling is just alienating–especially when you’re not talking about a politician or influencer, and you’re just regular citizens interacting.

I think about this kind of thing a bit. I think two existential threats facing the US today are the Republican Party and partisanship, and I am very aware of the inherent contradiction in that belief. Maybe taking a minimalist approach to labeling is a good step toward reconciling that contradiction.

Mitch W @MitchW