Thursday, 27 August 2009

'Liberal' and 'socialist' as terms of abuse in America.

I was very interested to hear an item on our BBC Radio main morning news programme today which said that in America the word 'liberal', which was formerly used as a political insult, now no longer seems to carry the weight it used to, whereas 'socialist', when voiced by the 'right', does still carry the same disparaging clout. (I ought to say that in the UK neither word is used in particularly condemnatory fashion - indeed, even some Conservatives here are proud to declare themselves as 'liberal' on social and/or economic matters! ) The subject came up relating to the sad, but not entirely unexpected, demise of Senator Kennedy - almost universally liked and admired here, I dare venture to say. But it seems that defining him merely as 'liberal' is not pejorative enough for right-wing American commentators and politicians - the word 'socialist' carries more demeaning weight. Actually, to call Kennedy or Obama as 'socialist' or even Obama as being just 'liberal' is almost outside our comprehension here - though, of course, one sees things through the political prism of one's homeland and its history. But if there actually is this change of mood in American right-wing thought, it is something to be welcomed.


  1. Lately, you may be surprised to learn, the radical right has given up on both of the words 'liberal' and 'socialist', and are now concentrating on the word 'nazi'.

    Yep, it's true. They are going around with photos of Obama with little Hitleresque moustaches saying that Obama is doing to America what Hitler did to Germany. They say Obama is turning America into a Nazi state.

    I know this doesn't make any sense. It doesn't need to. They are merely stooping to any level necessary to get the black man out of the White House. That what it all comes down to. It is thinly veiled racism.

    On one hand, to see it all is quite funny. The U.S. Republican party has in my opinion lost all credibility and is lashing out in every direction hoping to survive a little longer. These people are laughable.

    On the other hand, it is quite disconcerting because the crazies are buying into this Nazi talk. There are many weak-minded Americans out there who actually believe with ever fiber of their being that Obama is a new Hitler.

    How do you reason with crazy people like that? How can these crazies be trusted to vote when they have no grasp of logic or reality. That's the big problems here. It's like giving young children guns. They just cannot be trusted to use them properly.

  2. Yes, we've seen those placards showing Obama with a Hitler 'tache. If it wasn't so mad it would be hilarious. These people have no sense of history either. When did the Nazis ever concern themselves with health care for ALL, for God's sake? - including not just the biggest obvious persecuted category, but gypsies, gays, communists, radicals, physically and mentally 'challenged', anyone they found 'inconvenient'..... well, you know the list.