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Ken Muldrew

"I don’t know which side in the debate to trust either. The government’s argument has been we need to do what we’re doing in order to stop the terrorists but don’t worry we’re not overstepping,

On the other side, the argument seems to be that nothing the government does to protect us is worth the assault on our civil rights and privacy"

Such an American debate; the gulf between the two positions is so unfathomably wide that there can be no possibility of arguments from either side gaining purchase with the opposing faction. There is no debate here, just loud people shouting down their opponents and reasonable people looking elsewhere for a reasonable exchange of views. There should be a word for this. It's not quite misdirection although the aim is to deflect attention from an important issue. It's not simple hyperbole though there is intentional exaggeration. Calling it a "debate" is a misnomer but there is malicious intent that goes well beyond a simple error. How about "Ameribate"? : The pretence of deriving policy from the judicious study and discussion of discernible reality while framing the debating positions as an unbridgeable dichotomy.

The implications of self-gratification that attend this new term bring to mind a long forgotten passage by Bertand Russell about the important part of sex being the involvement of the other person (or something like that). Perhaps it's best left as an intangible connotation.

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