Monday, January 4, 2016

An Ideologue's Handbook: An Easy Guide for Hacks, Zealots, and Other Nutjobs

Here's a partial annotated table of contents for the imaginary book, An Ideologue's Handbook: An Easy Guide for Hacks, Zealots, and Other Nutjobs.

Photo of a living muse.

Lesson 1: Escalate: When Challenged or in Doubt, Say Something Even More Ridiculous and Call Names.

Lesson 2: Bulldoze Nuance: Nuance Is Distracting and Often Upsets Your Agenda.

Lesson 3: Cherry Pick: If You're Going to Throw Fruit at Your Enemies, Choose Only the Rotten Stuff.

Lesson 4: Assassinate Character: If You're Going to Make an Ass of Yourself, Take Your Enemies With You.

Lesson 5: Never Apologize: That's for Lesser Mortals Who Are Obviously Wrong and Scum.

Lesson 6: The Law of 1-2-3: Ask for One, Take Two, Demand Three.

Lesson 7: Divine Right: God is Always on Your Side, Not Theirs, Even if You Don't Call it 'God.'

Lesson 8: Demonize: Your Enemies Aren't Just Wrong; They're Malicious, Evil, Subhuman Monsters.

Lesson 9: The Inverse Law of Charity: Demand Charitable Interpretations of Your Views While Assuming the Worst in Your Opponents.

Lesson 10: Rationalize: It Is, After All, For the Greater Good.

Lesson 11: Run in Packs: If Lots of People Agree with You, Loudly, You Can't Be Wrong.

Lesson 12: The Law of Hypocrisy: Everyone Else Is a Hypocrite, So You Can't Be.

Lesson 13: Clean House: Only Listen to People Who Already Agree With You.

Lesson 14: Outrage: Outrage Is Your Friend, and Giving in to It Does Not Lead to the Dark Side if You're Right (And You Know You Are!).

Lesson 15: Persecution: Everyone Loves a Good Martyr, so Claim Persecution and Exaggerate Liberally.

Lesson 16: Excommunication: Anyone Who Questions the Eating of Their Own Shit Isn't Loyal; Eject Them.

Lesson 17: Shoehorn: Anything Can Be Pressed Into Service for Your Agenda If You Try Hard Enough.

Lesson 18: Organize: Call Your Agenda a Movement and Brand Nonparticipants as 'Traitors.'

Lesson 19: Manichaean Wisdom (Law of the Excluded Middle-Ground): You're All Right, So They're All Wrong, and Corrupt, and Evil.

Lesson 20: Polarize: The Ends of the Spectrum Are All There Is, and They're at the Wrong End of It.

Lesson 21: Use Big Words: Words Like Racist, Bigot, Sexist, Genocide, and Terrorist Make a Big Splash, Use Them Liberally, Whether They Fit or Not.

Lesson 22: Greenwald: If in a Pinch, Get It Intentionally Wrong, Do It Big, Blame the Wrong Thing, and Call it Journalism. Yell on Social Media and Apply Sock-Puppets as Needed.

Lesson 23: Shout Down: No One Can Prove You Wrong If You Can't Hear Them. 

Lesson 24: The Law of Bullshit: It Requires an Order of Magnitude (Or Two!) More Effort to Correct Bullshit Than It Does to Say It; Take Full Advantage of This Fact! 

Please, feel encouraged to add more 'lessons' in the comments below, or feel free to write sample paragraphs for any of the ones listed here (I'll keep adding more without noting that I edited to add them, so don't get fussed about that and maybe check back sometimes). Don't be a jerk, though.

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