Neglected Rules of Civilised Discourse: Dog Whistling


The main problem with dog whistling is its entire concept.

Claims to have perceived a dog whistle are simply an excuse for ideologues to get outraged, end conversations, indulge in ‘shaming’ culture, and revel in their own falsely assumed moral superiority, and to do so over absolutely nothing. If pressed, the indignant can’t point to any actual offence, which is precisely why they had to invent a new term. Instead, they just feel that something somewhere is offensive and, for them, that is all they will ever need. The entire concept is effectively weaponised paranoia, and it works to the detriment of all sides.

We need a Godwin’s Law equivalent for dog whistling: the first person to identify a ‘dog whistle’ excludes themselves from the discussion at hand, or any productive interaction for that matter.

Remember: if you can hear a dog whistle, there’s a very good chance you’re the dog in the situation.

Add this law to the Neglected Rules of Civilised Discourse database. I think we are up to #4,937 at last count.

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