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Right-Wing P.C.:

Reason's Jesse Walker documents the growth of political correctness on the Right.

When I say "political correctness," I'm referring to an attitude, not an agenda. In some hands the term is a broad synonym for censorship and groupthink, qualities that have always been common across the political spectrum. Other times it devolves into a vague smear-term for anything left of center. I'm using it to describe a particular political posture: one that treats identity politics not just as an ideology but as a trump card, that maintains a rigid orthodoxy while regarding itself as subversive, that uses a series of contrived outrages to feed a bureaucratic machine. Each of those elements has infected parts of the right.

Cheburashka (mail):
It actually strikes me as a pretty crummy article; what little "evidence" he has to support his case is Horowitz's "Student Bill of Rights," which he has to distort to make his point.

There are a lot of problems in the Right right now, but neither orthodoxy nor beaucratic orthodoxy are among them.
5.11.2006 8:03pm
Jeremy Pierce (mail) (www):
The War of Christmas stuff is clear victimology, and the Bush response to the Star Spangled Banner that he himself had sung in his campaign shows that that's not ideology. He gives plenty of evidence besides Horowitz.

One thing I think it doesn't get quite clear is the distinction between true recognition of victimhood, which is appropriate, and exaggerated playing up of victimhood that is real, which is not. It's as if it's all or nothing, and the psychological phenomenon is much more complex. Victimology can occur when there's some real victimhood, as long as the attitude isn't for progress.
5.11.2006 9:11pm
frankcross (mail):
I don't think anybody complains about true victims claiming it. What the right has picked up on is automatically playing the victim card, before the evidence for victimhood accumulates. A fair number of whites are extremely quick to allege reverse racism, before it's proved. Seems like the victim card is the first one to be played, by both sides.
5.11.2006 10:13pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Frankcross.

Well, if it's true the right is doing it, I guess it's a tribute to the effectiveness it had when the left did it.

Sorry it had the clout to move a feather. But it's a bit late for anybody to be crying foul.

Still, sometimes, as Jeremy says, there are real victims.
5.11.2006 11:57pm
Fishbane (mail):
Another amusing/sickening aspect of it is the disconnect between the Malkins and Limbaughs of the world, and the constant calls for civility from the left. It has been an effective rhetorical technique - claim the screechers are just comedy while Serious People Who Wish To Engage shut down conversation from competitors by calling for Reasoned Discourse. The effect is that people who want to talk are shouted down from the peanut gallery (which, in fact, is not the proles, but a cultivated group of media personalities), and then told to grow up when they make themselves heard. As a systemic exploit, I applaud; morally, it is awful. (I'm a technical person with a security background, sorry if my framing seems strange.)

There's an interesting aside to this sort of discussion going on with Tacitus re: the "Overton Window" - an analytical device for strategic political thinking. No matter what your persuasion, it is interesting. Though some of my sympathies lie with Digby, I think s/he (who knows?) is wrong. More lefty thoughts here.
5.12.2006 1:16am
Fishbane (mail):
Another amusing/sickening aspect of it is the disconnect between the Malkins and Limbaughs of the world, and the constant calls for civility from the left.

Sorry, I realized I wasn't clear. I meant to say, "... calls for civility from the right that those on the left be more civil."
5.12.2006 1:27am
homais:
I prefer to call the phenomenon the Victimology Olympics. Part of me has hoped that as the Right learns to compete for Most Victimized Group - as other commentators have mentioned, see the 'war on christmas' for a great example - Lefty Victimologists would finally understand how rotten the underlying logic to victimism is. So far, umm, no.
5.12.2006 4:07am
BGates (mail) (www):
Nuestro Himno is not a straight Spanish translation of the Star Spangled Banner. Here are the most problematic lyrics, translated into English:
The brilliance of battle... (My people keep fighting.)
...in step with freedom, (Now is the time to break the chains!)

Fishbane, have you seen the hate mail Michelle Malkin gets? Can you point to anything remotely similar that she has put forth herself?
5.12.2006 5:54am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
"Nuestro Himno" ia an anthem for the pro-illegal-alien movement. That's what earns most of the outrage against it.
5.12.2006 6:25am
Angus:

Fishbane, have you seen the hate mail Michelle Malkin gets? Can you point to anything remotely similar that she has put forth herself?


How about praising the wrongful internment of an entire racial group in WWII in order to argue for the internment of an entire religious group in the WOT?

Seems pretty hateful to me.
5.12.2006 6:26am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Angus. Wrong twice. She didn't praise it. She put it in the context of the times, something we are often commended to do. And she straightened out some of the lies told about it.
And she didn't call for anybody else to be rounded up.

Who on earth do you think is dumb enough to believe you?
5.12.2006 2:48pm
yellow dog:
one of my favorite examples of right-wing PC victimology:

"The long war on Christianity in America continues today on the floor of the House of Representatives ... [It] continues unabated with aid and comfort to those who would eradicate any vestige of our Christian heritage being supplied by the usual suspects, the Democrats. Like a moth to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians."

- Rep. Hostettler, defending Christians, the latest poor victims of the anti-American bad guys, on the House floor
5.12.2006 3:07pm
Thief (mail) (www):
A lot of the examples Walker cites are not cases of victimization, but a refusal to put up with or abide by double standards.

Racism is a bad thing. Racism is morally wrong. If you want to call someone a n****r, it doesn't become OK just because you're throwing the word at Condi Rice and not Jesse Jackson.

Plagiarism is a bad thing. As soon as it was found out that Jayson Blair did it, he got canned, and I supported that. As soon as it was clear that Ben Domenech did it, he got canned, and I supported that too. (Note too that there is a little thing called "evidence" which is required.) No one gets an exception on account of whosever side they are.

But then there are a few examples that simply don't matter. Conservatives tend to be as offended by posters of Che Guevara just as liberals are offended by Confederate flags. They are both symbols of well-intentioned causes that caused a lot of pain and suffering, and their display demonstrates a willful ignorance of history. But with some things, it's probably better as a matter of communal peace and comity to just let it slide.

In any given situation, either apply the rules to everyone equally, or don't apply them at all. That's all conservatives are asking for. Plus, it has the advantage of forcing those imposing the codes to take a dose of their own medicine. To paraphrase Ulysses S. Grant, there is no better way to get a bad rule repealed than applying it strictly to everyone.
5.12.2006 7:05pm