Thursday, July 5, 2007


As I previously noted here, the word "liberal" is nowadays often used by idiots as a slur to describe people who do not agree with them on a given issue. This happens constantly in the comment section on Liberal Lean. These modern day monarchists (i.e., supporters of Bush and the Regal (or Imperial, if you prefer) Presidency) will frequently blabber "LIBERAL!", usually in all-caps, sometimes with exclamation points, in response to an argument (or statement of facts) that they understand only barely well enough to know that it is in opposition to whatever spoon-fed talking points they picked up the last time they listened to Hannity or watched Fox News.

This tactic is akin to keying someone's car after that person has stolen your high school girlfriend. Or, more likely, has gotten a date with a girl that you regularly whack off to but have never actually engaged in conversation. In other words, it is the last, most cowardly resort of the rhetorically helpless.

So, I'm wondering if there is a corresponding epithet hurled by those on the "left" against those who disagree with them and have presented arguments or facts that they are incapable of refuting. I think I have seen the word "fascist" used in this way, though that word in many cases may actually make some kind of (barely) articulate point in the context. (see the post linked above for an explanation of why this rarely (if ever) applies to a similar use of "liberal" -- short synopsis: it doesn't mean what they think it means). What I haven't seen is a similar use of the word "conservative". For some reason, this just doesn't have the necessary "slur" factor.

But anyway, I said all of that to say this: despite having the "liberal" tag hurled at me repeatedly in blog comments (typically in response to a principled, unassailable analysis that, by virtue of its unassailability, engenders fear and panic), I actually believe myself to be a "conservative", albeit in a fairly narrow (and today, rarely used) sense of that word.

This is no recent epiphany. I've long had conservative leanings on a wide variety of issues. I believe in free markets, small government, strong defense, low taxes, and (aside from a short list of social issues which don't include any of the foregoing areas) I generally believe in maintaining the status quo in preference to abrupt change.

But the one thing I am not -- and never will be -- is a Republican. There is a reason that the current administration is called (and calls themselves) NEO-conservatives: they are NOT conservatives. And what brings all of this to mind is an article by Bruce Fein, a principled man with unimpeachable "conservative" credentials. He offers this scathing indictment of the Bush Monarchy, listing many of the clear and unavoidable reasons why true conservatives could never support it or the people behind it.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the problem is that when a person gets to the polls to vote, the choices are abysmal. I have been in the position of either losing my vote(in effect), by voting for a third party candidate; or voting for the lesser of two evils(so to speak).

TXsharon said...

The reason "conservative" doesn't work as a slur the way "liberal" does is because of the way the media has made liberal a dirty word. People often say they are conservative but, when you start questioning them they actually are more liberal. But, liberals are fornicating, baby killing queers and who wants to call themselves such.

Thanks for the link. It will come in useful.

I think the two parties have done a flip flop. What once was is no longer.

Gleemonex said...

Those trolls on Liberal Lean really adore "LIEberal" and "lib" as well. So devastatingly clever, that bunch.

Can I just say, as a fan of your writing, that I love your complex but never convoluted sentence structures? Reminds me of reading the best of the 19th-century Brits -- the reader must engage with the language, follow the logic, concentrate on the substance -- and the rewards are bountiful.