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about this so-called liberals-being-rude-to-the-right thing

A FEW DAYS AGO, in an­other post here, I said that as a lib­eral, I have NEVER re­ceived a viral lib­eral email passing along pro-left or anti-right lies or pro­pa­ganda. One would think by now I would be tired of such things, as I am the per­fect re­cep­tacle for those at­tempting to lie for their cause. But while I have re­ceived plenty of rightwing mes­sages of du­bious in­tent, I have yet to see a single left­wing mes­sage in my emailbox. 1

Now, it is im­per­a­tive that you keep in mind that the word viral is the ad­jec­tival form of virus—which is usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with un­well­ness dis­ease flu Ebola AIDS and other death-related things. That is, no one refers to those emails that con­tain those charming slide shows of pup­pies and gar­dens in the moon­light and Italian vil­lages as “viral.”

The post touched a nerve with a few friends—all “lib­erals,” who have also been waiting for their first viral lib­eral email. One friend, who we will call “Brian” (be­cause that’s what his wife calls him), was mo­ti­vated to launch his own site on Tumblr, Nutty Right-Wing Viral Emails.”

After his first post, he re­ceived an email which he for­warded to me with this ex­pla­na­tion: “Neal, yes­terday I pointed out my new blog­ging ef­fort to some people I know. This ar­ticle (below) was sent to me by them this morning. Maybe NOT con­nected?”

Why are liberals so rude to the right?

The title of the ar­ticle that he re­ceived is “Why are lib­erals so rude to the right?” by Leften Wright for The Guardian (May 27, 2013). At first glance, this seems al­most a rhetor­ical ques­tion, ex­cept the an­swer would be the op­po­site of the au­thor’s intent—for the mot part, “they’re not.” Of course, I am seeing it through eyes of a lib­eral and I don’t know the de­f­i­n­i­tion of rude being used by Leften. 2

Or it could be a sort of rightwing joke.

As those of us who do NOT de­fine our­selves as con­ser­v­a­tive, those who do are no­to­ri­ously sen­si­tive to anyone or any­thing that calls into ques­tion any of their cher­ished big­otries.

Dang! There I go, being rude and calling names. So please reread the pre­vious sen­tence and sub­sti­tute “their cher­ished be­liefs” for “their cher­ished big­otries.” 

The sub-title of the Leften Wright piece is “Too many people who lean left would rather crack nasty jokes than ac­tu­ally be lib­eral and listen to other views.” This seems to be an ex­ten­sion of a joke and there­fore in­tended as hu­morous. But since reading the text of the ar­ticle makes it clear that this ain’t no joke.

Hon­esto­gawd, there’s not a trace of irony to be found in the piece, so I’m afraid we have to take the inanity of the title at face value. To bol­ster my in­fer­ring naught but straight­for­ward­ness, here is the opening para­graph:

“Why is it that lib­erals feel no qualms about being rude? Far too many people who are per­fectly po­lite and cour­teous, oth­er­wise, think nothing of in­sulting you for not sharing their po­lit­ical opin­ions. They look at us with dis­dain, thinking we’re un­en­light­ened con­ser­v­a­tives and never hes­i­tating to say so.”

And what was the first ex­ample of this lib­eral rude­ness that Ms. Wright of­fered to back up that state­ment?

“When news came on 9/11 that planes had struck the World Trade Center, my [tennis] partner com­mented that Bush would use it as an ex­cuse to in­crease mil­i­tary spending.”

Um, am I missing some­thing? That re­mark doesn’t qualify as “rude” any­where that I have ever been. And isn’t that ex­actly what Pres­i­dent Bush did?

The master of rudeness is on their side

But I can give you an ex­ample of real rude­ness? Hos­tility in the po­lit­ical arena has been the norm since Rea­gan’s FCC jet­ti­soned the Fair­ness Doc­trine and opened the air­waves of America to rightwing dem­a­gogues. While these moral mi­nority mon­sters may be for­ever per­son­i­fied by Lush Rim­baugh, there were and are count­less others with even less re­straint and more rude­ness. (Can anyone forget Michael Savage?)

But Rush­baugh may have pulled the most egre­gious and of­fen­sive of rude and ob­jec­tion­able be­havior by a com­men­tator from any side—this time on his short-lived tele­vi­sion show—when he com­pared 12-year old Chelsea Clinton with a dog. An anomaly, some might say.

He also re­ferred to Amy Carter as “the most un­at­trac­tive pres­i­den­tial daughter in the his­tory of the country.” So, we have the Lush­baugh down for consistency—and what ap­pears to be misogyny, which is a char­ac­ter­istic that the right ac­tu­ally cher­ishes in a ‘real man.’

And, like a real man, Rush­baugh never truly apol­o­gizes: his ‘apology’ for the Amy re­mark in­cluded a dig at Mar­garet Truman. 

The total amount of out­rage from the Family Values crowd over a pow­erful adult in­sulting chil­dren in a public forum was non-existent!


Rude: photo of protestors classhing at Unite the Right rally on August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is of a clash at a Unite the Right rally in Eman­ci­pa­tion Park at the Unite the Right rally on Au­gust 12, 2017, in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia. I lifted it from an ar­ticle ti­tled “Pro-Russian Bots Take Up the Right-Wing Cause After Char­lottesville” on the Bill Moyers web­site.

The sub­title to the piece is “An­a­lysts tracking Russian in­flu­ence op­er­a­tions find a feed­back loop be­tween Kremlin pro­pa­ganda and far-right memes.” This mas­sive, or­ga­nized as­sault on the internet—which often in­cludes racist, ho­mo­phobic, misog­y­nist rhetoric—is en­tirely a rightwing phenomenon—absolutely nothing like it ex­ists on the left.


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FOOTNOTES:

1   My post is ti­tled where are all the damn lib­eral viral emails and why do I keep get­ting the rightwing ones in­stead?

 Yes, Leften Wright ap­pears to be a nom de plume: the Guardian has a con­trib­utor named Crystal Wright, who also blogs as Con­ser­v­a­tive Black Chick. But you never know.


 

 

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