Opposition to Gay Marriage Labeled as HomophobiaFor example, opponents of gay marriage are routinely accused of homophobia or hatred of gays. What may be a principled opposition based on social mores or religious beliefs is characterized as being driven by a hatred of gays themselves, or even self-hatred. Another tack is to portray opposition as being driven by fear of gays. A quick check of Google turns up some relevant examples:
- “Homophobic Huckabee Compares Gay Marriage To Polygamy, Prostitution”
- “Homophobia won't go away once same-sex marriage becomes law”
- “Why Is Having a Rational Opinion Against Gay Marriage Considered "Homophobia"?” (this would seem to be a counter-example, but the author goes on to discount the usual reasons against gay marriage)
- “Desperate Homophobes Tell Women Gay Rights Will Rob Them Of Husbands”
I personally am torn on the issue of gay marriage, and can see merits on both sides. However, calling me a hater or homophobe is unlikely to swing me to your side of the argument.
Opposition to Illegal Immigration Labeled as Xenophobia
Another area where this tactic is widely used is on the topic of illegal immigration. Proponents of stronger enforcement of the border and/or opponents of amnesty are labeled as xenophobes or racists. Here are some examples I turned up with a quick search:
- “The Xenophobes Can't Kill Immigration Reform - But What Should CIR Supporters DoNow?”
- “Xenophobe Sen. Jeff Sessions(R-AL) States Why He Opposes Immigration Reform Bill”
- “Watch: Known Xenophobe Lou Dobbs Demonstrates Ignorance on Immigration Reform”
- “The Xenophobe Party”
Usually there is no evidence of xenophobia provided. In conversations, protestations by the accused of support for legal immigration, even including reform, are ignored.
Support for Voter ID Laws Labeled as Racist or Jim Crow
The grand-daddy of all ad hominem attacks is to call you opponent a racist. This has been seen in full force during debates about new voter ID laws. Google is ready with plenty of examples:
- “Is Jim Crow Back? Racist Voter Laws Exclude 5 Million Blacks, Latinos From Polls”
- “The Voter-Fraud Myth: What Racist Voter ID Laws Are Really About”
- “Voter ID laws recall Jim Crow”
- “NAACP confronts new Jim Crow racism”
- “Debbie Wasserman Schultz compares GOP-backed voting bills to Jim Crow”
I will have more to say about racism in another blog. For now, suffice it to say it is still a favorite tactic to use it to beat down opponents and to instill fear about holding positions in opposition to certain groups.
Opposition to Sharia or Radical Islam Labeled as Islamophobia
Another widely used pejorative is Islamophobia. It is often trotted out to whack opponents during any discussion of radical Islam or Sharia law. More help from Google:
- “Berkeley Profs: ‘Islamophobia’ Greater Threat Than Islamic Terrorism”
- “Islamophobia: Fear in Perspective---How America's Right Wing and GOP Are More Dangerous Than Radical Islam”
- “How Reckless Islamophobia Undermines the Struggle Against Radical Islam”
- “NC Senate passes ‘Sharia law’ bill” (on the website islamophobia.com)
- “The Facade of Islamophobia” (delves more into baseless accusations of Islamophobia)
I am adamantly opposed to Sharia law and radical Islam, based on the facts of their history and their stated goals. I am afraid of neither, and I am not afraid of Islam.