Every now and then someone will complain that I "generalize" too much. I used to think that generalizing was a bad thing, because for some reason we are taught in this society that we shouldn't generalize.
But then I heard a brilliant man* explain that if we do not generalize, we can't even talk. Of course, he's right. Think about it. If we have to note, discuss and dissect every caveat, every variation, and every possible exception to every idea we wish to debate, then we are conversationally paralyzed.
For purposes of debate, I need to be able to say, "The desert is hot," without going into the fact that there are times when the desert is cool and even cold (I know, because I live in the desert). I need to be able to say, "Liberals support a right to abortion," without having to provide a disclaimer about the small percentage of liberals who are pro-life. (I'm just throwing out two examples off the top of my head, but you get the point. It's late and my brain is fried!)
Basically, I assume that every party to a dialogue understands that of course there are exceptions to almost everything. If there are some cases where I believe there to be no exceptions (moral absolutes, for example), I will be clear about that. But generally speaking (there I go again, generalizing!), exceptions are a given, and we don't need to spell them out every time, do we? It doesn't add to the clarity or understanding of the subject at hand when we must always discuss the exceptions as well as the rule.
Anyway, I just thought I would throw that out there and declare that I will, generally, generalize. Because I like discussions that actually go somewhere and mean something.
*Political and social commentator Dennis Prager. Prager is also the man responsible for my motto regarding dialogue with liberals: I prefer clarity to agreement.