Name calling is for children

Published 7:59 am Thursday, September 6, 2018

Do you remember being a young kid and expressing anger by calling someone a rude name? Just whatever popped in your head, like “loser” and “four-eyes” and “dummy” and “booger head.” It was the easiest tactic to resort to if you were losing an argument or something like that. If you got the other person angry, they’d hopefully give up.

I remember arguing this way a lot with my younger brother when we were kids.

Looking back at it now as I’m older, name calling never really accomplished much. It certainly didn’t help make anyone’s argument stronger, and it certainly didn’t solve any problems. All it did was make things worse.

The more I read these days, the more I grow increasingly concerned about how often adults seem to fall back on name calling when they’re trying to debate or argue. Look at any political discourse. It’s not hard to spot at least one or two insulting names thrown around, trying to disparage the opponent to make the debater’s side look better. I sometimes even see it in national opinion columns that run on the same page as this one.

You’d think adults could be more mature when trying to discuss difficult topics.

But apparently, you’d be wrong.

Frankly, I find the trend disturbing. Important social issues and economic concerns are complex topics which affect sometimes millions of people, so they shouldn’t be treated on the same level as two kids arguing over who gets to play with their favorite toy. These discussions need critical thinking and rational level-headed thinking, even if it’s easier to give into passion on certain subjects.

If you want to change my mind, tell me why. Give me valid points about why your point of view is better than the other’s. Encourage me to think more about the topic of discussion from all different angles.

People lose all credibility in my eyes if they just resort to name calling instead. To me that just sounds like they’ve run out of points to make and are just grasping at straws. I’ll readily admit that I simply tune people out if they start calling the other side a bunch of silly names.

I think we can all agree there are some big problems facing us here in America, and we are increasingly divided on how we want to fix those problems. But nothing is going to get accomplished if we all keep acting like spoiled kids who only know how to express their anger through rude names.

A lack of respect for our fellow people might be one of the biggest of our problems.

As the midterm elections draw closer, the political chatter gets louder. So this is just my bit of advice: argue your point like a mature adult no matter what side you’re on, and don’t listen to people who can’t debate like adults.

Name calling is for children. Haven’t we all grown up yet?

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or by phone at 252-332-7206.