Friday, December 22, 2006
The Mainstreaming of Bigotry of All Types
Check out the ten (or more) outrageous comments by wingnut pundits during 2006. Then think about how extreme many of these comments are. If you had to write a satire of them, could you? I doubt it, because you can't really go any further in many cases.
That is what the wingnuts have achieved in the last decade, a sort of reverse of political correctness as an epidemic, "political correctness" the way the wingnuts use the term. Almost nothing is beyond the pale to say now, as long as it insults only the groups without much political power in this country. So now the Townhall publishes a column which regrets the fact that women have the vote. The logical next step would be to bemoan all those people who want to stop men from "physically correcting" their disobedient wives. I predict that in 2007 we will read that in a wingnut column, because Nancy Pelosi's public visibility will serve as a permanent thorn in the sides of quite a few misogynists.
I bet that the above paragraph will be interpreted as me advocating censure of what people say. This is not what I advocate. What I do advocate is a careful scrutiny of the way outrageous statements are being mainstreamed under the disguise of freedom of expression, statements, which have no information value and no value in general except that of legitimizing hatred based on no factual grounds. I also advocate responding to those comments rather than ignoring them, though I know that some of you disagree with me on this. But I think the mainstreaming process is too far gone for ignoring it to work. We need to use the same freedom of speech to correct lies and untruths and to point out sheer bigotry when we see it. Because bigotry is wrong. It hurts the innocent and props up the vicious.
Sheesh. I wanted to write something funny today but what is, is. As Donald Rumsfeld might say.