Our American society today has been criticized for being too: sensitive, politically correct, insensitive, politically incorrect, too conservative and too liberal. There is a deep schism that has been created because both sides (because there has to be two sides on every issue in America) entrench themselves in their viewpoint. Both sides are at fault, even though the strongest proponents on both sides would argue that it is only their opponents who are stubborn. This is why pro environmentalists are always “hippies”, omnivores are “murderers” , and anyone who is pro life is automatically labeled as anti women. This ingrained issue where anyone against you is automatically an enemy that must be beaten at all costs stems from the rhetorical idea that one’s views and opinions are indisputable facts.
We discussed this idea at length in class and came to a general consensus that these last years have seen a rise in American people claiming their personal statements are always true. This goes directly against all ideals of classical rhetoric, where arguments by a person had to be constructed to convince the audience that their ideas are right. This meant that an argument had to bring in facts and appeals to emotion in order to sway opinion. In this method, opinions aren’t facts or inherently correct until proven to be so by some sort of audience (this could be by the general populous, philosophers, scientists, etc.) Today, this type of rhetoric has been completely abandoned. An individual’s views are always the correct views. This doesn’t have to be validated using any type of evidence because, today, personal opinions are placed above evidence based statements. Any person can quickly become an expert if they are willing to speak loudly and viciously berate anyone that opposes them. Now, we are entering a 2017 where American is split in two with neither side letting up that their views are the only way. If we could begin to shift our rhetoric, where we actually hold people accountable for what they say and force them to back up their opinions maybe we could begin to be a less divided country where both sides begin to see the merits of the others arguments. Until then, we will remain in this political and societal hell hole where both sides spew shit from their mouths until they are blue in the face.