Labels: Shorthand for what We Think

Were the people that visited the Capitol a year ago today, Patriots or Insurrectionists?

How you label them will probably imply more about you than you anticipate. People will definitely assume your politics and probably your race, socioeconomic level, and education.

Are you a believer in Build the Wall, Q-Anon, COVID hoax, Stop the Steal?

Are you a believer of the Big Lie, Critical Race Theory, Voting Rights Act, Womens’ Rights are Human Rights?

Are you more likely to believe Fox News or MSNBC or do you believe that neither addresses your point of view?

Which causes more deaths, COVID or the vaccine?

Does the vaccine inject you with various types of lymphocytes that help your body fight the virus, black goo, a microchip that will allow the government to track you, something to turn you into a Zombie, something that makes you and/or your children sterile, or you honestly do not know?

Are you more likely to believe Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, or Dr. Fauci?

Which President is/was more corrupt: Donald Trump or Joe Biden? Why or why not?

If given the chance would you give up your American citizenship tomorrow? Where would you prefer to live, given a choice?

Should the country remain United or dissolve into Red States and Blue States? (150 years ago it was Blue States and Gray States.)

28 thoughts on “Labels: Shorthand for what We Think”

  1. Well, interesting questions Pat. It seems that the US is getting more and more divided every year. I just don’t know why people there are so obsessed with divisiveness. Why do they categorise people as black, white, latin? Why not all Americans?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is sort of the political equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition, Francisco. I once asked an Egyptian if they differentiated between light-skinned and dark-skinned Egyptians. He looked offended and then proclaimed, “No! We are all Egyptians.” I guess if you have been a nation for over 5,000 years you have a strong identity of who is an Egyptian.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, good point, but other nations, much, much younger have decided that all their citizens were equal in everything, that their race, ethnicity or origin was not important nor relevant. Actually the US is surrounded by nations like that. All of the Americas were populated from people from Europe, Africa, or Asia (and also from their own native populations) and none of them have citizens that are hyphenated. I have lived in America, and because I am white and European, I went unnoticed anywhere and everywhere I went and I know that in many places I was more welcomed and had more “rights” than people actually born in the US. Isn’t that ironic? I think that if the US wants to start uniting, rather than dividing, they should stop taking surveys describing the people surveyed as white, black, Hispanic (which is a misnomer as none of them are actually Hispanic as they were born in America and a Hispanic is one born in the Iberian peninsula) et al. Maybe people will see each other as “Americans” then. Oh, Pat, and the Holy Inquisition was all over Europe, not just in Spain… 😁🍷🌹

        Liked by 1 person

        1. True, Francisco. Some of Isabel Allende’s books talk about prejudice against the indigenous population. I have heard the same thing about Canada and much of Central and South America. The fame of Spain’s Grand Inquisitor outstripped his competition in either France or England, both of which had problems during and after the Reformation.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone ask that last question. I wouldn’t want to see that and also I don’t think it’s feasible. The last time half the country tried to break away, they had the unity of geography. But it didn’t help them. Now we’ve got red and blue spread all over. What a headache.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An excellent post Pat. Your questions are obviously aimed at people living in the U.S. but similar questions could be asked here in the UK, and no doubt elsewhere around the world too. I hate to say it, but I’m not optimistic about where the answers to these questions will lead to.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Interesting question. I actually think that most people think and believe something more nuanced or perhaps not even captured at all by the more provocative labels. That labels serve more for needlessly categorizing and dividing people rather than actually promoting discussion and positive change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great points, JYP. I still think they are a shorthand for how people are perceived. A female can be a girl, woman, broad, chick seminal receptor, daughter, mother, sister, housewife, working girl, lady. Each of those implies a different connotation.


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