One of the
most striking things about this year’s political discourse (as if
name-calling and wild accusations can be dignified with such a term)
is that what used to be considered traditional and commonplace thinking
is now labeled as extremism and bigotry. A few examples:
If you believe
that the U.S. Constitution means only what it actually says, you
are an extremist who ought to be wearing a powdered wig.
If you believe
that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman,
you are a homophobe and a bigot.
If you think
people should not be allowed to break into our country illegally,
then get free education, health care and jobs and to march in our
streets to protest the violation of their "rights," you
are a racist, a xenophobe, and your state should be boycotted.
If you have
misgivings about the morality of abortion, or any doubts about the
absolute right of a mother to kill her unborn child, you are a religious
fanatic, an anti-feminist, and probably a right-wing Catholic.
If you admit
to having some queasy feeling when boarding an airplane with people
dressed in Muslim garb – you are not only a bigot but you are
FIRED – if you work for National Public Radio (or probably
any other institution aligned with the cultural/political Left in
If you watch
Fox News, you are a freakin’ @#XX!&**mf2!!!
If you doubt
any of the above is true, a close look at the TV commercials being
run by the likes of Sen. Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray
or many of the other endangered Democratic incumbents running scared
this election year will prove my point. Anyone who does not totally
buy into the "progressive" agenda and orthodoxy of politically
correct, left-leaning Democratic Party is, by definition, "extreme"
if not outright bigoted or "crazy" (as Reid has labeled
his opponent, Sharron Angle).
The point of
all this is not simply to bemoan what’s happened to political debate
in this country, but to point out how successful the Left has been
in redefining the terms of that debate. Over the last 30 years,
liberals, through their dominance in the media, the universities,
the public school systems and major cultural institutions, including
television and Hollywood, have redefined what is acceptable and
unacceptable in American society. And the docile, largely silent
majority of ordinary Americans, who don’t relish confrontation and
controversy, have allowed these institutional forces to have their
way in changing American culture. Up to now.