Why do some, attack the messenger rather than engage the message?
Does that mean that engaging in objective analysis of a speaker's position doesn't matter anymore? What really matters is who you are (primarily your race, class, gender), and what interests, motives, and political ideologies you hold. Thus, attacking the speaker either in a rude and crass or more subtle and sophisticated form becomes the accepted tactic.
My simple answer would be that it is easier. Anyone can toss around insults, but it takes a bit of work to make a coherent argument.
It's also because most of us don't engage in dialogues to really learn anything. We are trying to win an argument, and we get pissed off at people who don't acknowledge that we are right.
I find the usual reason is that they cannot defend their position of what they believe and really are trying to convince others to believe what they "choose" to believe and are not interested in truth, just dissemination of their beliefs. Since they are unable to defend their position they attack and try to discredit the person with the truth. I guess They have learned this from the liberals in government as that is what they have been doing and getting away with for years.
People kill the messenger when they don't want to face a problem and think they can put off having to deal with it by discrediting the one who brought it up. It's not respectable argument, but it is a very human way to behave.
I think fear plays a big role in this kind of behavior. When someone has said something that inspires fear on some level then it can be easier to try to discredit them, and by implication their message, than to deal with the fear and the issues at hand.
It's a bit like watching bullies in the school yard. One starts, others join in. The pack mentality takes over and even sane and rational individuals suddenly lose all sane and rational thought and behaviour. It becomes a competition to see who in the pack can speak the loudest, who can speak most often, and who feels like they had the best quote among their peers. They thought what they said was clever, so they assume everyone else agrees.
If they don't think people noticed and acknowledged their brilliance, they just keep trying again ... and again ... and again.
I've had interesting conversations with schoolyard bullies over the years, one on one. I find some are arrogant, some are ignorant, and some just don't know why feel compelled to behave badly when they have an audience.
For whatever reason, they don't stop to listen to what is being said. Too busy flexing their muscles to open their minds to the conversation around them. It's a shame they can't see how silly their behaviour seems to onlookers, but this type of person can only see their own viewpoint.
Not much you can do when a person doesn't want to hear you, connorj. We like to think young ones will grow out of bullying and trying to impress the pack, but sadly some never do.
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