Skip to comments.Reverse McCarthyism: Unfair Stigmatization of the Political Right
Posted on 01/19/2003 9:06:31 AM PST by BurkesLaw
How does that little children's ditty go? Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me!
Well, that might be an appropriate maxim for the playground, but it certainly doesn't apply to modern-day North American politics. Name calling has turned into one of the most sophisticated weapons of the political left (and its sympathizers in academia and the media) -- and probably its most effective stratagem in the cut and thrust of everyday political combat.
And what name calling would we be referring to? Why the use of such pleasant labels of disapprobation as right wing, right winger, right of center, far right, rightist , reactionary, extremist, fanatic, racist, homophobic, misogynist, anti-female, etc., etc., etc. Of late, even the term "conservative" has increasingly been tainted in everyday discourse.
Use of such adjectives in a derogatory and detractory manner has increasingly been employed by the liberal left for such varied purposes as marginalizing Republican candidates for office, justifying the denial of judicial appointments to strict constitutionalist judges in the U.S. Senate, and stifling debate on liberal college campuses.
Of course, what it all comes down to is reverse McCarthyism. Plain and simple, liberals have made it a risky business to espouse conservative opinions in legal contexts, in the mainstream media, or on college campuses. And that's for fear that the targets of liberal wrath will be politically lynched -- tarred with one of the many nasty labels employed by the liberal-left to marginalize and disarm any opponents it can't otherwise deal with.
As already indicated, we're of course taking about such common ever-so-polite liberal-leftist appellations as "extremist," "fanatic," "racist," or "homophobic" -- as in "right-wing extremist," "conservative fanatic," "hateful racist" and "homophobic right winger." Having one of these labels applied to you in mainstream North American society these days is a unique kind of status degradation ceremony -- almost the equivalent of experiencing a secular excommunication or modern-day shunning. For these days, such loosely-applied labels as "right winger," "reactionary," "extremist," "racist," "misogynist," and "homophobic" prescriptively imply that the stigmatized person is so irrational, unfair, selfish, ignorant and cruel as to be beyond the moral pale. Built into such judgmental labels is the ideologically-charged assumption that anyone espousing such "hateful" views must be so twisted and pathological as to be some kind of subhuman monster -- the left's ingenious method for 'Hitlerfying' (and thus stigmatizing) any dissent against their prevailing orthodoxies.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtondispatch.com ...
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