Godwin’s Law and My Corollary

Most people that have been using the internet for a while have heard of Godwin’s Law. It hearkens back to the olden days of the internet. 9600 Baud modems, text only interfaces, and usenet discussion groups. Lacking any way to control a discussion, discussions became heated, and eventually became flame wars. Sooner or later, any position, however rational, would be denounced as fascist, hence this law:

Godwin’s Law: All discussion threads will eventually invoke Hitler and the Nazis. The person who does this in an invidious comparison is deemed to have lost the debate.

So, once you had stated a position or an opinion and the other person had replied with , “Well, I guess that’s what I should have expected from a Nazi like you!!!11!!!”, you could move on, secure in the knowledge that the other party had no rational response.

Harrington’s Corollary to Godwin’s Law: All political debate will eventually invoke Al Qaeda and terrorism. The person or group who does this in an invidious comparison is deemed to have lost the debate.

So, for example, when a Congressman expresses the opinion that it would be better if the United States had a balanced budget and paid down the national debt, and the Vice-President and leading Democrats denounce that opinion as terrorism, Harrington’s Corollary is automatically invoked and the debate is over, with the win going to the fiscal conservative.

Feel free to link back and use Harrington’s Corollary whenever spurious comparisons to terrorism are invoked.

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