In Defense of both-Sideism

By:  Sean Treacy  •  Op-Ed  •  9 months ago  •  5 comments

In Defense of both-Sideism

Both-sideism," whether presented as an explicit argument or, more commonly, concealed within an implicit reluctance to criticize one's own "team," has gained significant popularity in recent times. Although intended as an insult, it ironically holds a certain merit. In reality, both-sideism often serves as the rhetoric of a fanatic, as evidenced by historical precedent and plain common sense.

A glance at early Soviet history unveils that the Both-sideism critique is essentially modern-day American terminology for a concept rooted in Bolshevik jargon. In the USSR, terms like "right deviationist" or "left deviationist" were employed to brand any criticism of the Party's policies or its leadership by fellow Communists. To question a policy, program, or leader was to acknowledge that the Party was not infallible, and dissent from the Party's stance was considered the gravest of sins. Whether the criticism held merit or not, it was seen as fortifying the party's adversaries, thus justifying its swift suppression.

By simply applying labels to arguments, the Party could avoid engaging in substantial debates on contentious issues. The labels themselves became a means of asserting control, irrespective of the external realities. This practice gave rise to a Party that regrettably did little more than echo the absurdities propagated by its leaders.

Hence, Both-sideism is not an endeavor to defend a policy or engage in reasoned debate. It merely asserts that criticism weakens the party and should not be tolerated. It epitomizes the belief that the party's strength and success are the only matters of significance.

In a totalitarian, repressive government that has caused the deaths of millions of its citizens, it's evident why such reasoning was adopted. However, in a democracy, it is nothing short of poison. Moreover, it identifies the speaker as a party zealot who should never occupy a position of power.

A commendable leader should embrace a "both-sider" mentality. They must acquaint themselves with the arguments on both sides of a discussion and comprehend the perspectives of the opposing camp. Someone who deems it wrong to entertain opposing viewpoints or cannot fathom how anyone could disagree with their opinions on a matter is, in essence, a fanatic. Consequently, their opinions hold little value because they lack a comprehensive understanding of the topic, unable to appreciate the merits of opposing perspectives.

Individuals who ignore and summarily dismiss the arguments of those who dissent from their views inadvertently confine themselves to an ideological prison. Such individuals fail to grasp the repercussions of their actions and become blindsided by the predictable consequences of their decisions. This ignorance sets off a cascading  chain reaction they are oblivious to.


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Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
1  author  Sean Treacy    9 months ago

Reflexive defense of anything and everything  just because it "hurts your team" is a clear danger to the Republic. 

Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    9 months ago
They must acquaint themselves with the arguments on both sides of a discussion and comprehend the perspectives of the opposing camp.

I oppose bothsidesism in its current usage, and I do comprehend the perspectives of the opposing camp. 

So there. 

Ever since it became known that Trump was totally unfit to hold public office in the United States, which happened about 5 after minutes he came down the escalator to announce his candidacy in 2015, we have been assaulted with a form or two of bothsidesism on his behalf. Without bothsidesism working in his favor Trump cant get elected, and coudnt in 2016 either. He must convince a number of moderates and independents that he is no worse than his opponent and he brings the attraction of being a "maverick" who is an "outsider" which apparently a lot of moderates and independents like. 

That is the use of "bothsidesism" in 2023. After we impeach Biden (without evidence) we will claim that Trump is no worse, after all they both were impeached. Trump's minions tried to prevent the electoral vote count ?  No biggie, George Floyd protesters rioted too. Trump is a crooked business man ?  No problem, Biden is too. Trump says stupid things 24/7?  So does Biden.

The intention of all this is to create a voting atmosphere of "since they are both the same type of person, why not going with the one who (x,y,z) had the most decisive policies? 

The only way Trump can win is if "bothsidesism" succeeds in dirtying up Biden. Trump's campaign and his lackeys in Congress know this all too well. 

Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
2.1  author  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @2    9 months ago
oppose bothsidesism in its current usage,

Then why do you use it? 

Professor Principal
3  JBB    9 months ago

To begin with, false equivalencies are FALSE...

Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
3.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @3    9 months ago

So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.

Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
3.1.1  author  Sean Treacy  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.1    9 months ago

One of the better cover songs out there.