"All or nothing" is simplistic and intellectually lazy

By Scott Tibbs, March 22, 2019

The world is not black and white. There are shades of grey. Interestingly enough, it is Leftists who often fail to recognize that, adopting an all or nothing stance: Either you are with us or you are against us. If a Republican criticizes a Republican elected official or candidate he supports, that is an example of hypocrisy. It is boring and tiresome, in addition to being simplistic and intellectually lazy.

I have repeatedly condemned the "all or nothing" mentality of some on the Right, where they demand total loyalty to President Donald Trump, and declare those who are not totally loyal to be "enemies." But this mentality is just as common on the Left.

I did not vote for for Donald Trump in 2016, but I support President Trump now and I plan to vote for him in 2020. I have been called a "hypocrite" for supporting Trump and condemning the "all or nothing" mentality of some conservatives. But two things can be true at once. It is possible to generally support the President while also saying that blind loyalty to him is wrong. This is not hypocrisy. I cannot intellectually wrap my brain around how it could possibly be hypocrisy. I never condemned support for Trump generally, once he won the Republican nomination. I condemned cult-like loyalty.

But to some Leftists, any criticism of a Republican means you are a hypocrite if you support that Republican. This is not new with Trump, as that rhetorical nonsense was also applied to George W. Bush and countless other Republicans in office. "You disagree with this policy, but you support Republican X! You are such a hypocrite!" Obviously, if I was sincere in my disagreement with this policy or statement, I would refuse to vote for Republican X because voting for a political party I disagree with 95% of the time makes more sense than voting for a political party I disagree with 5% of the time.


But do the Leftists who accuse me of "hypocrisy" ever disagree with the words, actions or non-actions of Democrats they support and voted for? Of course they do. People are not mindless drones walking off a cliff like the Lemmings in a 1991 computer game. Everyone is an individual. The world is much more complicated than a childish "all or nothing" mentality allows. This kind of extreme tribalism is what is killing our political discourse, because it is impossible to have a rational discussion about policy.

Basically, everyone needs to grow up.

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