Skip to comments.Resorting to name-calling? At least get it right (LIBERAL BEMOANS USE OF THE 'C-WORD')
Posted on 07/11/2010 8:33:17 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
Last Saturday afternoon, my sister and her husband were out in Lemont to attend their niece's fourth birthday party. Burgers and brats were sizzling on the grill, presents were piled on the living room coffee table, and the U.S.-Ghana World Cup game was playing on the flatscreen.
When one of the other guests discovered that my sister and her husband were not rooting for the Americans, but rather were quietly pulling for the underdog Ghana, he became belligerent, calling them a number of names that are unprintable in a family newspaper but also asserting that they were "a couple of filthy communists," "total commies," "godless commies," etc., etc., pursuing them through the party - ignoring their reluctance to engage him and their insistence that it was just a soccer match and thus no big deal who anybody rooted for - until they had no choice but to leave.
Such uncivil and combative behavior is boorish and horrible regardless of the epithets the man happened to be using. But his repeated variation on the theme of "communist" is just one more example of an increasingly obnoxious trend that has been plaguing the so-called "discourse" of the American right.
This trend, of course, is the rampant misuse and frequent misapplication of the terms "communism" and "communist" that keep getting tossed around angrily by name-calling conservatives in relation to any idea that is not marching in absolute lockstep with their own ideology.
"Communism" and "communist" are real and useful terms with precise meanings and histories. But they are almost never properly employed anymore. Instead, what conservatives generally mean when they name-call someone a "communist" is: "I disagree with you, and I resent and oppose your democratic right to hold and express an opinion that is different from mine, antithetical as that is to the entire concept and spirit of democracy."
So, today's column is about words, definitions and really saying what you honestly mean. And, conservatives, I'm not necessarily saying that you shouldn't call anyone a "communist." I'm just here to help you make sure that if you do, you're doing it correctly, and that if what you really mean is, "Anybody with perspectives or values that differ from my own needs to shut up and go away," then you can just say that instead!
For starters, to return to the unfortunate incident in Lemont, is being a fan of a different sports team than someone else really the same as communism? Which is to say, is it identical - per the actual definition of "communism" - to: embracing a social structure in which classes are eradicated and property is commonly controlled? No. It might make you mad or confused to view a sporting event at which not every single spectator feels like chanting "USA!" and "We're No. 1!", but it is not, technically, "communist."
As you have likely noticed, though, the gross misapplication of the terms "communism" and "communist" is not limited to children's birthday parties in the south suburbs. These errors are everywhere in the so-called American political "conversation."
On June 24, for instance, Glenn Beck, who already has established himself as a misuser extraordinaire of the whole notion of communism, dedicated that evening's entire program to attempting to rehabilitate the reputation of red-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy and to defining virtually each and every progressive idea or cause as equivalent to "communism."
Because it is sad to see proud Americans such as Glenn Beck and the gentleman at the party want, so badly, to express themselves with great clarity and insight, yet be unable to do so accurately, I propose the following simple, three-question checklist of queries you can use whenever you feel your lips twitch to form the C-word.
Just ask yourself: Is the thing or idea that I am attempting to berate or dismiss out of hand with a single word (as opposed to thoughtful debate):
1. A political theory of total collectivism in an utterly classless and stateless society? If no, don't say "communist"; just say, "Shut up." If yes, go right ahead.
2. An economic system based on the principle "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need"? If no, don't say "communist"; just say, "I am incapable of listening to, let alone respecting or considering, an opinion that is not the same as mine." If yes, go right ahead.
3. A form of socialism that abolishes private ownership? If no, don't say "communist"; just say, "My ignorance makes me defensive and hostile toward people who make different decisions than I do." If yes, go right ahead.
See? Easy. Clip this column. Stick it to your fridge with an American flag magnet. Put it in your wallet next to your National Rifle Association membership card. Whatever. It's a free country.
And free means free to have your own opinion. So don't wear out the words "commie" or "communist," which certainly have their uses but possibly not the ones you think.
While I am making lists, here are a handful of beliefs with which you may disagree, but which, if you do agree with them, do not automatically render you a "communist" - "godless," "filthy," or otherwise:
A new path to citizenship for immigrants to this country.
Equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgendered people.
Equal rights for women.
The idea that massive, faceless, multibillion-dollar corporations are not, in fact, "human" and should not be treated as such under the law.
The idea that the government can provide useful services and programs besides just the imperialist spread of war, aka "defense."
Public transportation and/or bicycles.
Paying your taxes.
The separation of church and state.
Universal health care.
I could continue with this list, but these are just the tip of the complicated iceberg of views I have recently expressed, which have subsequently gotten me declared, incorrectly, an adherent of "communism" in various private and public settings. There is a lot to discuss about each of these issues, but there is not a lot to indicate that any of them are especially "red"/"pinko"/"dirty commie."
Would it be preferable to engage in a discourse that really was a discourse? In which nuance and debate were genuinely welcome, and differing opinions and suggestions were not rejected summarily with a single, curt word? Sure it would.
But in the meantime, if you are going to call somebody a reductive and belittling name bec ause they think thoughts that are not identical to yours, then please, have some pride, and at least call the right ones.
KATHLEEN ROONEY IS A FORMER U.S. SENATE AIDE AND WRITER LIVING IN CHICAGO. HER LATEST BOOK OF ESSAYS IS "FOR YOU, FOR YOU I AM TRILLING THESE SONGS."
Unless her family members WANTED a confrontation they could have kept their choice to themselves.
Just skip the name-calling and bring out the knives. 0.x / s
Of course, the fact that a number of those listed beliefs are part of the Communist platform is just a coincidence...
Just the fact that they were watching soccer makes them a bunch of commies...ok, I have my flame-proof suit on.
a liberal whining about name calling?
Funny how libtards and progressive seek the use of exact definitions of words, and yet, change definitions to suit their collective purposes whenever deemed necessary to do so. Wonder if she accepts the Constitution exactly as it is written just as she wants us to accept the literal definition of communism or communist......=.=
Such uncivil and combative behavior is boorish and horrible regardless of the epithets the man happened to be using. But his repeated variation on the theme of “communist” is just one more example of an increasingly obnoxious trend that has been plaguing the so-called “discourse” of the American right.
Just what everyone needs . . a liberal giving lessons on manners. LOL.....I guess they set the example in their public schools and neighborhoods
Kathleen “Loony” Rooney...
I prefer using a different “c-word” to describe leftists: corporatist.
That’s the whole alphabet they’ve covered now, right?
When one of the other guests discovered that my sister and her husband were not rooting for the Americans, but rather were quietly pulling for the underdog Ghana, he became belligerent, calling them a number of names that are unprintable in a family newspaper but also asserting that they were “a couple of filthy communists,” “total commies,” “godless commies,” etc., etc., pursuing them through the party
IT’S FRIGGIN’ SOCCER. WGAS?
Stop being a Godless Commie, Kathleen. What a communist b***h.
Make "Democrat" the new epithet. It mostly would be accurate, too.
This commie broad is a terrible writer.
Yep, complete fabrication. She set up a strawman to knock down, and at her next tofu and MD 20-20 party with the black panthers she’ll be craning her neck to listen for compliments on how enlightened and open-minded she is.
And no, I don’t think Kathleen is a commie. She smells more like a goosestepping fascist. Sieg Heil! sweet-cheeks.
Rooney wrote a book at one point about her life as a nude model. From the clothed pics of her I see, I don’t think the people who hired her paid very much.
Who is this Commie C***?
Oh yeah! Truly profound. I wonder when, given the state of the economy and the decline of Old Media when this oh-so-profound outre, daring, hipster-intellectual, sex-kitten literatus may have to go back to taking her clothes off for money. Perhaps in a setting other than an artist’s studio?
And who uses “communist” as an epithet these days, anyway?
You have to get a load of this, impossible to parody:
She is so 1998. Don’t know how people like that eke out a living these days.
Oh. I forgot, Obama-money.
‘Which is to say, is it identical - per the actual definition of “communism” - to: embracing a social structure in which classes are eradicated and property is commonly controlled? No. It might make you mad or confused to view a sporting event at which not every single spectator feels like chanting “USA!” and “We’re No. 1!”, but it is not, technically, “communist.”’
Let’s use another ‘c’ word - collectivist. The group trumps the individual.
If Rooney’s sister and her husband like Ghana so much they should go live there. Morons.
what a ditz. . .she is confusing Marxist “ideology” with Marxist “tactics.” Many further the Marxist cause as unwitting pawns, “useful idiots” . . .this is the strategic, tactical side of Marxism. . .which includes, by the way, “the big lie” tactic. Saul Alinsky’s “Rules” are about tactics. . .not so much about ideology. . .but know for certain the tactics definitely further the ideology.
Dear Kathleen, you are a commie.
Is Ms Rooney a Communist?
Those who have to say they are not, well, there is a clue right there!
What filty, totally Godless Commie wrote this idiotic article!!??
Looks also like she is fiull of herself and must talk down to people so they “understand” that she is much smarter. Where is the *barf* alert?
Looks also like she is full of herself and must talk down to people so they “understand” that she is much smarter. Where is the *barf* alert?
Huh... After reading as much of this hand-wringing tripe as I could handle (a few paragraphs) I dismissed the author as a pig and went straight to the comments. So... she does nude modeling?
And who could argue with them?
“1. A political theory of total collectivism in an utterly classless and stateless society? If no, don’t say “communist”; just say, “Shut up.” If yes, go right ahead.”
We already have a collectivist agitprop in the newspapers and mainstream media pushing the left’s game.
The Boy-Queen and his minions have floated various incarnations of a cashless, classless society in their talks and in their thinktanks. Mostly it is so that no one can escape the long arm of taxation nor can anyone attempt to rise above a level dictated by the secretariat of billionaires who resemble nothing more than soviet insiders and communist cronies ruling the prolitariat. The internet allows everyone to read a lot of information so nothing can hide from view.
Speaking of which, just this week TSA attempted to censor sites along with the government’s grab of internet “security.”
“2. An economic system based on the principle “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need”? If no, don’t say “communist”; just say, “I am incapable of listening to, let alone respecting or considering, an opinion that is not the same as mine.” If yes, go right ahead.”
The redistribution of money from private individuals through taxation and confiscation through onerous capital gains taxes is exactly that. I’m to pay a 3.8 percent tax on home sales and other real estate transactions. Middle-income people must pay the full tax even if they are rich for only one day the day they sell their . This is to support healthcare.
“3. A form of socialism that abolishes private ownership? If no, don’t say “communist”; just say, “My ignorance makes me defensive and hostile toward people who make different decisions than I do.” If yes, go right ahead.”
Oh ho! The crux of this is the nationalization of entire swaths of industry, finance and soon to be medicine, big pharmaceuticals, and medical products. Next? The oil industry.
Yeah, I still own my house. How long before the taxes make it impossible to support it? How long before the mortgage deduction is stopped according to plans in the works just this week from the IMF for US austerity measures? What’s the point of owning a house if every benefit is ended.
Also take a look at the sustainable housing now being planned. That’s enough to end personal property along with running small business and farmers out of business.
It’s all incremental, honey. The Bolsheviks wear suits this time and use computers and censorship to conquer.
LOL, thanks for the link!
Rooney is a whore who doesn’t have the guts to admit it to herself!
Two thoughts -
Does Ms. Rooney also ask Liberals to stop using the R-Word for those of us who disagree with President Obama’s policies?
Can you imagine what would happen to a Brit or German if they mentioned that they were rooting against their team? I believe it would more than one person going after them.
I wonder how she defines other meaningful words, like “marriage.”
Since we are being precise and all.
Isn't that Comrade Zero's neighborhood rag?
The whole bit about rooting for Ghana would not be a big deal, were it not for the fact that libtards continually root against the United States.
But then again, the "Right" just a liberal term for those that disagree with them?
Perhaps that person, (if not completely fictional) knew the Ghana fans well enough, to know they were Communists. Being that they are friends of the author, it seems quite possible.
Noticed she didn’t include abortion or end of life issues.
I hope they’re not ashamed of those. ]:~)
Submitted without proof that the boor was a “right winger”. Sounds like a a typical drunken knucklehead to me.
Let’s see; A liberal speaking about alleged name-calling on the part of a family member who utters the word “communist”.
Where is the writer when Democrats regularly utter the words “neanderthal”, “knuckle-dragger”, “ignorant”,
“bible-thumper”, “gun-loving”, “stupid”, “Nazi”, among many others to describe those who do not subscribe to the ideas of Democrats?
Who did she aid in the Senate, I wonder? The overtly corrupt Mosely Braun character?
Yeah - she’s one of the rare hot-looking liberal babes.
Obviously, words, especially those uttered in anger, are often misused.
In my view, the evil, calculated, silence-inducing and debate-ending leftist use of the word “racism” to kowtow dissent is far more common than use of the “c” word, and far more pernicious.
BTW, I’ll be watching baseball today. Guess I’m not a citizen of the world like our ‘resident.
I would typically refer the people like Kathleen as ‘socialists’ which is much of a catch-all for a range of ideologies that might nuance themselves out into any odd number of isms.
Hmm, if the cover is her, then she’s a little “bottom heavy and top light.”
The number of Americans who could locate Ghana on a map, name it’s capital and current political leader without looking them up would be rather small. The people mentioned in this piece were cheering Ghana because the participants were black.