No one has time to read every article. We read synopses, abstracts, tweets, and headlines to get the gist of what’s happening. To save time and space we take a pernicious short-cut. We say Republicans when we mean many or some Republicans. We say ‘the left’ when we mean many, most, or some on the left. We say women when we mean some-but-not-all women.
This is the fallacy of composition.
Description: Inferring that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole. This is the opposite of the fallacy of division.
A is part of B
A has property X
Therefore, B has property X.
Until we can be more specific and accurate with our civic language we will never cross the communication divide. If I want to get a better understanding of conservative arguments, I reject them immediately when they that something is true of ‘the left’ or liberals, that I do not believe.
Civic communication, on a broad scale, will improve if we, and the headline writers of the world, follow the simple maxim — Be Specific.