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Reverse McCarthyism: Unfair Stigmatization of the Political Right
The Washington Dispatch ^ | January 19, 2004 | Murray Soupcoff

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: conservatism; discrediting; stigma
Just ask Clarence Thomas or Judge Pickering about this nasty phenomenon.
1 posted on 01/19/2003 9:06:31 AM PST by BurkesLaw
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2 posted on 01/19/2003 9:07:49 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: BurkesLaw
"- a cowardly form of reverse McCarthyism used to stifle dissent and discourage any questioning of today's rigid liberal-left catechisms. "

I think that this was the point of Ann Coulter's book Slander. I just don't know anymore living on the "Left-Coast" where except Free Republic were you hear any conservative views.(Talk radio being the exception.)

The news papers around here are going broke -- CNN is in financial trouble -- NBC, ABC, CBS in that order are garbage but yet they continue to be very left of center. The liberals don't realize they are obsolete -- but they still have a lot of power.
3 posted on 01/19/2003 9:58:52 AM PST by BeAllYouCanBe (Be All the government allows you to be!)
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To: BurkesLaw
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me! "

If the libs had absolute power - we'd all be dead (see my tag line)

4 posted on 01/20/2003 2:10:49 AM PST by The Raven (Quiz (5 pts) : Name the countries implementing Socialism without mass murders)
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