The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

"Whataboutism" in politics and everyday life Options
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 2:10:42 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/7/2015
Posts: 286
Neurons: 579,054
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Okay, Wikipedia isn't perfect. But I found this one article I liked:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

But I suppose it's not just about Soviet (or neo-Soviet) propaganda. It could be about someone who hurts someone else on a more personal level and says "So what? You've made fun of people too!" or "You laughed at my joke last time!" or "Don't pretend you're perfect!" Or about an argument where you're pretty sure you're right, but... surely the other person is weighting things wrong? Or, a "favorite," when someone repeats what they say, but if you do that, you are getting boring, already.

It's always good to put a name or definition to a technique, and I think "whataboutism" is a good one.

The main thing is that the people pointing out you are not perfect have little or no interest in helping you improve, and sometimes, they even try to tempt you into lashing out. Because it's important to pay attention to details and fix what is wrong.

So: regardless of where we stand on Russia, etc., I think this is useful to know to function in our everyday lives.

I particularly enjoy the idiom section of this fine website.
progpen
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 2:54:03 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 1,373
Neurons: 161,308
Location: Princeton, Minnesota, United States
This is a topic that fits just about anywhere there is politics.

Caught trying to pass questionable legislation?
But whatabout them? They did something bad too.

Caught lying about *fill in the blank*?
But whatabout them? They have lied before too.

Caught in a corruption investigation?
But whatabout them? They are just as bad as we are.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ― Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Ursus Minor
Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 1:33:14 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/13/2016
Posts: 335
Neurons: 1,440
Location: Inozemtsevo, Stavropol'skiy, Russia
progpen wrote:
Caught lying about *fill in the blank*?


Re: whataboutism

What about the growing number of 'blanks' in the anti-Trump campaign and 'probably', 'he might have done', 'most likely'?
Are there any other verbs outside the verb 'meddle' in the English language when the CNN describes Russian meddling in the
American elections?
Romany
Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 6:14:39 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,166
Neurons: 36,977
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

OK, so I bring everything back to education, I know - but what you call "whataboutism" was a punishable offence all through my school and childhood years!! I expect Drago had the same experience.

We were taught from infancy to take responsibility for what we do: if you say "Johnnie did it too" you got a further punishment: !. for doing the deed 2. For dobbing someone else in. Even if you didn't do it you held your tongue and sucked it up if it would damage the other kid. My own children went through the same kind of ethos in their schools.

Watching endless coverage where every question about any mistake the current Administration makes is immediately answered by "May I remind you that Hillary...", or "But back in '82 your party did..." or yeah, "What about...." is like constantly being involved in playground antics - as most of the countries round the world have been saying. These ill-educated oinks need their bottoms smacked and to be sent to bed without any dessert. Regardless of which 'side' they are from.

It's impossible to take seriously grown, supposedly adult, people behaving in this eye-wateringly infantile manner. Didn't any of them go to school? Or have parental guidance? This sort of nonsense is frustratingly time-wasting, irritating and provides the most horrible example not just to other children, but to any sane person who cares about the outcome or the standing of their country.

Y111
Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 6:48:51 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/25/2017
Posts: 41
Neurons: 195
Location: Kurgan, Kurgan, Russia
I think the question "Who are you to lecture me? Look at yourself!" has been popular among humans since they began to speak. If someone is constantly criticizing you, you will sooner or later lose your temper with them.
Lotje1000
Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 6:52:54 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2014
Posts: 811
Neurons: 351,761
Location: Gent, Flanders, Belgium
Ursus Minor wrote:
progpen wrote:
Caught lying about *fill in the blank*?


Re: whataboutism

What about the growing number of 'blanks' in the anti-Trump campaign and 'probably', 'he might have done', 'most likely'?
Are there any other verbs outside the verb 'meddle' in the English language when the CNN describes Russian meddling in the
American elections?


That was intentionally ironic, right? To use "What about the growing number..." in a thread about whataboutism?
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 10:22:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/7/2015
Posts: 286
Neurons: 579,054
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Romany wrote:
We were taught from infancy to take responsibility for what we do: if you say "Johnnie did it too" you got a further punishment: !. for doing the deed 2. For dobbing someone else in. Even if you didn't do it you held your tongue and sucked it up if it would damage the other kid. My own children went through the same kind of ethos in their schools.

Watching endless coverage where every question about any mistake the current Administration makes is immediately answered by "May I remind you that Hillary...", or "But back in '82 your party did..." or yeah, "What about...." is like constantly being involved in playground antics - as most of the countries round the world have been saying. These ill-educated oinks need their bottoms smacked and to be sent to bed without any dessert. Regardless of which 'side' they are from.


Yes, I remember the Republicans billing themselves as the party of personal responsibility. And I think it's important as kids to learn that just because someone else is mean doesn't mean you should be.

And the "But Hillary" examples are often false, too. Or out of context. One of the smears was about her defending a rapist. http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-freed-child-rapist-laughed-about-it/

And it's not just about Clinton. The "best" one is "But the Democrats were the party of the KKK, so shut up! Know your history!" And while this is true, repudiating segregation etc. is what cost the Democrats the South.

Of course there is the danger of saying, well, the Democrats are not as bad as the Republicans about corporate cash. It's more than a bit exhausting. What was the quote from the movie War Games? "The only way to win is not to play?"

I think that there is a way out, though, to insist that elected officials do better and put pressure on them. Not, like, physical pressure, but organize, etc.

Romany wrote:
It's impossible to take seriously grown, supposedly adult, people behaving in this eye-wateringly infantile manner. Didn't any of them go to school? Or have parental guidance? This sort of nonsense is frustratingly time-wasting, irritating and provides the most horrible example not just to other children, but to any sane person who cares about the outcome or the standing of their country.


One additional problem is that it it gives people license to act the same way the government does, as if the government gave them freedom to pull this sort of trick.

This all seems pretty bleak. But there is hope. Senator Carl Schurz said, in the 19th century, "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." It's something we all can say, no matter where we live.

I particularly enjoy the idiom section of this fine website.
Romany
Posted: Monday, July 17, 2017 8:38:51 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,166
Neurons: 36,977
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Andrew -

Well yes, it is unutterably bleak atm. I know it's infuriating when someone keeps repeating themselves, but: I truly do think - and continue to think - that when, finally, all this is over and the dust settles, this whole episode is going to prove beneficial.

After this I'm sure that the loopholes, the inadequacies of certain legislation, the Black Holes, will all be revised and amended; new legislation to protect people will come into force; and, eventually, people will come to honour their country rather than their politics.

We've all been through a coupla thousand years of amending, revising, reviewing - and while no-one is suggesting (or has suggested?) getting rid of the Constitution, certain amendments may lead to a stronger Constitution than ever, and an America presence in the world will once again be valued.

Look how the world changed after both World Wars. After a War of Ideals I can only see things going forward.

I really DO have faith in the future for the people of America.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2017 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.