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In Which Opinion Isn’t Fact And I Coined The Word “Fauxopinion”

October 27th, 2012 No comments

Quiz time! Which of these statements fall under the category of fact.

  1. Water is wet.
  2. Water makes makes plants grow.
  3. Water makes me want to vomit.
  4. Water in a basement can grow mold.

Who chose number three? You’re voting for Romney, aren’t you.

I do my best to stay away from hyperbole because it’s the ONE THING I THINK THAT WILL DESTROY THE COUNTRY and it gets boring to hear that every single election is the MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN OUR LIFETIME. All elections are important and it’s time to stop hyperventilating every two year over them. As Tommy Lee Jones says in Men In Black, “the world is always about to end.”

Still. A new brand of stupid emerged from the 2012 election. Let’s call it Fauxpinion. Fauxpinion is when you state an opinion as fact which you cannot back up with fact but only with more opinion. I offer the following example.

This is the current cover of my Facebook page. I rearranged it from Rape Babies For Romney. The current GOP party platform advocate 14th Amendment rights to…um…fetuses. It’s on page 14.

We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

This is what’s called a “fact”. That means “something that actually exists; reality; truth“.

Used in this way, the 14th amendment bestows “Personhood” on a fetus so that abortion literally becomes murder. It doesn’t matter how the sperm meets the egg – consensual sex, rape, incest – the nanosecond the egg is fertilized, it’s a person and aborting it means you’re a legal murderer. No. Srsly. It does.

Knowing this, the graphic points out that this sweet adorable girl who got raped by someone must carry that pregnancy to term. She must have that baby. Again, going off of the GOP platform which provides no exception for any complicating factor (rape, incest, life of the mother) the law would legally obligate the girl to deliver a child. If she dies in childbirth – tough. She had 13 good years and that fetus only had 6-9 months. Aborting it would not only be selfish but punishable.  What kind of punishment? Um…ya know…punishment…like…ya know…punishment. I guess this could be anywhere from docking her allowance to the electric chair. No one really wants to go on record about the punishment part.

In response to this graphic, a wingnut posted the following. No words. Just the link.

 http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/mary-kate-cary/2012/10/26/lena-dunham-ad-shows-obama-thinks-women-are-dumb 

It references this Obama campaign ad which saucily insinuates that voting has parallels to the first time you were raped.

YouTube Preview Image

The title of this piece is pretty self-explanatory. It appeared as a news article in US News and World Report. JK! It’s an editorial. An editorial is not fact. It is an opinion; an argument as to how to interpret facts. They may have facts in them but they are not in and of themselves fact.

It honestly took me aback. An slightly slutty Obama ad bears no relation to forcing a 13 year-old to have a baby and I said as much. And this is where the Fauxpinion comes in.

Mr Wingnut’s reply

I just met opinion with your opinion piece. Don’t get your ball’s twisted in a knot.

Well then!

It’s kind of the perfect wingnut response – ignorant of the issue discussed and ending with some statement s/he thinks is clever and demeaning when it’s really neither. You would have to work pretty hard to make the Obama ad dovetail with rape babies.

But more importantly, the word choices leap off the charts – I just met opinion with your opinion piece. This is the state of wingnuttery – “Herrr derrrrp! Sumbuddy sed sumthin I don’t agree wid so I’M gonna say sumthin that THEY don’t agree with and I win! Herrrrrp derrrrp!” This wingnut truly seems to believe that debate has no set rules. They believe that this to be intelligent debate.

Sane Person: Over the past two years, the GOP has actively worked to limit a woman’s right to choose.

Wingnut: SQUIRREL! Why don’t you go bang your [same sex partner].

Sane Person: Here’s a detailed argument proving what I said.

Wingnut: I LIKE STUCCO!

I’m not joking. Well, maybe a little bit. I’ve…”debated” is overstating it…chatted with this guy before.  A few months ago he came on my page calling me a pussy for getting tired of arguments like the one above and banning someone. It went something like this. (And, yes, this is humorous paraphrase for effect.)

Mark: YOU BIG PUSSY! YOU LIBS ARE ALL THE SAME!!

Me: Whatever. I got tired of her posting stuff on my wall and not be allowed to annoy her back.

Mark: PUSSY! Now you have to deal with ME! And I play hard ball. Let’s have a nice fact based debate.

Me: Sure. Go ahead.

Mark: Barack Obama is a Socialist Marxist Muslim who is hell bent on destroying America.

Me: I thought this was going to be about facts.

Mark: THAT IS A FACT, YOU DICKSMOKER!

Me: Bye.

Mark: PUSSY!!

Given that he used “pussy” three times, I assume he felt he coup d’grace was “dicksmoker.” Either way, he felt that he won.

One last note – Fauxpinion shouldn’t be considered a hack of “Faux News”. It’s more along the lines of a square is a rectangle but a rectangle isn’t a square. And it shouldn’t be considered the sole domain of wingnuts, either, because the left does it too and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it. That said, the split on Fauxpinion runs about 70/30, heavily favoring wingnuts…the dicksmokers.