Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pruden's Law

As I was watching the debates last night, I had to laugh when McCain invoked Ronald Reagan. Mine was neither a scoff nor derisive chuckle, merely an amused reflection. At the Republican debates, I remember how almost every candidate cited Reagan, much in the same way that Democrats cite Kennedy.

Even so, it makes me think of Godwin's Law:

As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

I'm not comparing anyone to Hitler, so don't even. But it does make me laugh how frequently Republicans invoke Reagan as, supposedly, a tactic to remind the Old Guard of the Jellybean Days. Meaning, "Vote for me... because I'm like Reagan!"

The intent of naming something is not simply to call attention to it, but to take away its power. At the beginning of any historical/political discussion, if someone were to say, "Okay, so we're going to defy Godwin's Law, riiiiiight?", then nobody wants to run the supertanker onto the beach.

If we were to do the same for Reagan, I'd call it Pruden's Law and define it thusly:
As a debate among conservative political candidates grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Ronald Reagan approaches one.

If any of you decide to add this to Wiki, call it Pruden's Law! Because you heard it here first.

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