Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Wing-nuttery explained and defined 

Beth from comments here made a post on her new blog objecting to the use of the term "right-winger." She writes,

The left constantly does not like to be labelled, like its a sin or something. Yet, my friend on the left has no problem throwing around the name "extreme right wing" all the time, obviously in a derogatory way. What's good for the goose is not good for the gander.

I'm very specific about what I mean my "right-winger": people who enthusiastically espouse a particular set of lies concocted by ultra-conservative think-tanks. On the other hand, right-wingers use the word "liberal" to mean "something I disagree with or someone who disagrees with me."

Right-wing views are largely homogenous. For instance, if one hears another say, "Clinton had bin Laden's head handed to him on a platter but refused it," that other is very likely to also disavow global warming, believe Reagan won the Cold War by outspending the Soviets, and believe Al Gore claimed to have invented the Internet. There is, of course, not a 100% correspondence, but I'm sure I could devise a two or three question test and if a person's answers indicated "right winger", I could predict with near-perfect accuracy a few dozen more beliefs that person has.

I've delineated a few of these core right-wing beliefs in the posts, "What you must believe to be a right-winger" Part I and Part II.

Conversely, these same right-wingers use the term "liberal" to describe everything and everyone in opposition to their homogenous beliefs. As a specific example, Sean Hannity agreed that the Pope was a "wild-eyed liberal loon" when confronted with the fact Pope John Paul II opposed the invasion of Iraq. Hannity is a right-winger: he has a homogenous right-wing set of beliefs and labels everyone who disagrees with any of those beliefs "liberal". The Pope was not a "liberal" in any general sense: he was a guy who vocally opposed the invasion of Iraq. For that, Hannity labeled him a "liberal". The reality is that people who oppose fringe right-wing ideology are very diverse and can even be quite conservative.

Postscript. I may have to make a new term to refer to Mark Levin style right-wingership, as he adds a layer of gratingly psychotic non-logic to the mix. It would be unfair to lump the minority of Americans who just believe a particular set of lies into the same group as people who don't require those lies to be plausible nor make a lick of sense.

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I give you so much material for your blog, you should start to pay me or something.
I do link to you in my blogroll even though you so far have only four or five posts. Think I added the link when you had two.

I've learned a lot from from you in our private correspondence, and think it's excellent that you are now tending a public blog, "Prudence".

I've apologized for going to far in carrying over our private conversations into the public sphere, and removed the offensive part of a post in question. As I recently noted to you, one of the benefits of posting my thoughts publically is that it forces me to be very sure of the opinions I vent publicly.

I hope we can in the future still have private as well as public discussions.
What is that saying, be careful what you wish for, you might end up regretting it? ;-)

Thanks for linking to my blog, I am formulating some new posts, but have yet to put them into the computer.

I'll have to see if there is a way to link this blog in mine.
Conservatives keep tossing out the myth that Gore said he "invented the Internet," and sadly, "journalists" like Chris Matthews repeat that myth.

A blow-by-blow account of how conservatives created the "invented the Internet" myth is available on my site, http://jabbs.blogspot.com


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