10 September 2002
Two letters, no waiting
Somebody was it P. J. O'Rourke? once opined that the single most useful word in defending US interests was the simple word so, framed as a question in as accusatory a manner as possible. Used in this way, it becomes possible to refute all sorts of criticisms leveled from the Other Side. Example:
The US has imperialist ambitions!
And its usefulness extends beyond foreign policy:
Ten percent of the taxpayers got 80 percent of the tax cut!
Alternate forms include "Your point being?" and "And this is a problem because...?"
This is actually less flippant than it seems; today, when sloganeering is the primary form of political discourse, giving someone else's shibboleth the rhetorical back of your hand is every bit as effective as trying to explain things to the nudnik, and it saves time and/or bandwidth. A no-lose proposition all around, if you ask me.