On ‘Being Out of Touch’

Not a voice in the wilderness.  from babblingdweebs flickr.

Not a voice in the wilderness. from babblingdweeb's flickr.

The second to last refuge of the scoundrel, accusations of being ‘out of touch’ or ‘behind the times’ abound these days, leveled at the UAW/Automakers in Detroit, and legislators unwilling to cut their way out of a crisis in Albany.  These appeals work because they’re ungrounded references to general sentiment, and build off the sense that many of our economic problems are insurmountable, or at least wildly difficult.  Calling folks ‘out of touch’ not only neatly condenses problems into a soundbite form, it also provides a definate scapegoat who already is in the wrong.  In the case of union rules, which is an important part of the Detriot discussion, the accusation of ‘out of touch’-ness typically begins an argument about why workers should get sold out for their bosses ineptness, or why they should lose the right to organize their labor.  Really, the argument comes down to this: someone has the bully pullpit, wants to get their way, but doesn’t actually know how to get it.

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One response to “On ‘Being Out of Touch’

  1. Unions are out of touch! They’re out of touch with three decades of economic policy that sought to co-opt their leadership and cripple them. Now that the UAW is taking a (minor) stand (too little, too late), critics will happily hang the sign that broke John McCain’s neck around its own.
    When I first saw this bullshit, I really thought it wouldn’t hold any water. I’m fucking flabbergasted that, a week and change later, this rhetoric actually seems to be flourishing.

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