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!
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.
2 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.