It’s almost always wise to take a deep breath. Step back as though you’re looking in from the outside, rather ‘objectively’ you might say, in order to see more clearly what’s happening.
“Why don’t you just leave/ go back where you came from?” has a certain logic and a history. Click HERE for the entire Wikipedia article on propaganda.
Ergo decedo (traitorous critic fallacy)
Ergo decedo, Latin for “therefore leave” or “then go off”, a truncation of argumentum ergo decedo, and colloquially denominated the traitorous critic fallacy, denotes responding to the criticism of a critic by implying that the critic is motivated by undisclosed favorability or affiliation to an out-group, rather than responding to the criticism itself. The fallacy implicitly alleges that the critic does not appreciate the values and customs of the criticized group or is traitorous, and thus suggests that the critic should avoid the question or topic entirely, typically by leaving the criticized group.
Respondent: Well, if you don’t like it, why don’t you just leave and go somewhere you think is better?”
Critic: “Our office’s atmosphere is unsuitable for starting constructive conversations about reforms for the future of the company. A number of improvements are needed.
Respondent: “Well, if you don’t like the corporate system, then why are you here? You should just leave!”
A Personal Reflection
A Personal Reflection
Last night’s campaign rally in North Carolina sent chills up my spine. “Send her back! Send her back!” has a history. It paints criticism of the nation’s policies and behavior as unpatriotic. But patriotism (love on one’s country) is not nationalism. Patriotism is love of country. Nationalism makes the nation god.
We’ve heard these words before. I heard them used during the reign of terror fired up by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. II heard them in response to Ruby Bridges in Little Rock. I heard them from George Wallace and sheriffs, Selma, and Chicago. I heard them again when criticizing our policy in Vietnam War. Back then it was “America: Love it or leave it!” Now, as then, the cry to go home is not a criticism; it’s ergo deceto –a bullying response to criticism. Constitutional democratic republics assume a baseline of respect between and among people who disagree. No scapegoating. No name calling. No dismissal of each other as enemies, and a full, thoughtful discussion of policy and criticism. Wherever criticism is met with the traitorous critic fallacy, constitutional democratic republics are put to the brink of fascism.
Flash back: March 9, 1954: Dissent and Loyalty
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. . . . (McCarthy’s actions) “have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’ Good night and good luck.Edward R. Murrow, March 9, 1954, CBS; Commentary credited with stopping McCarthyism.
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, July 18, 2019.