I wouldn’t say that using more precise language had to be intellectual as such but I take your point.
I think having problems finding the right word is a different issue but it’s not an excuse to reach for a slur. But when trying to get out of the habit of using slurs I think it’s worth spending some time thinking “what do I mean when I use this word? What would be a better way of expressing this?”.
Also I see a lot of people (especially left/liberal/progressive people) use “crazy” to talk about right wing politics and politicians and that’s really unhelpful. As someone said earlier, “crazy” doesn’t always come across as a slur (like the previous example of “crazy busy”), but in these cases I really think it does and I think we’d be better off if we could try to pin down better what we think is wrong with the politics we’re talking about. I suggest that “outrageous” or “nonsensical” is a reasonably good alternative to “crazy” if deep analysis isn’t what’s required and someone just wants to express quickly that they really disagree with what’s been said or done.
I think that “outrageous” and “nonsensical” are often too polite to be good replacements for slurs, though.
If someone’s angry, they’re going to want to use an insult-word. And it’s ok to be angry and use words that are for being angry with.
Just slurs aren’t an ok way to do that.
(not weighing in on the issue of “crazy” here because that’s a word that’s used in a lot of different ways and I know enough to be able to explain how that word works. But it’s definitely a slur at least some of the time.)