[personal profile] ganainm
Reading Jon Carroll's column on Erick Ericksen got me wondering about the apparent difference in flavors of hyperbole indulged in by political extremists. Right-wing nuts like Ericksen seem to favor accusations of sexual perversion or at least immorality; accusations of gender variance (male leftists are described as emasculated or effeminate, females as mannish and castrating); threats of violence, often with guns; accusations of laziness; etc. Left-wing nuts seem to have a tamer vocabulary: shadowy conspiracies of the powerful; accusations of greed and lack of compassion; accusations of hypocrisy. The only times a leftist brings up sexual immorality are when hypocrisy is involved, e.g. the Catholic church's pederastic priests or numerous "family values" Republicans caught with their pants down.

First of all, is this difference real, or just a stereotype in itself? Second: if it is real, why does it exist? What is it about the conservative mind-set that inspires someone to accuse David Souter of bestiality and pederasty? I mean, a lot of us leftists are less than fond certain Justices, but I for one would not, even in private, go farther than questioning the legitimacy of their births in a common figure of speech. Even when we get hyperbolic -- I often compared Bush and Cheney's administration to the Third Reich -- the enormities we accuse our opponents of are usually political, not pornographic. I'm not claiming that we're more virtuous for that; I'm wondering what inner narratives make people of all kinds choose the kind of mud they sling.

Some political science student, probably more than one, has no doubt done the legwork and written this all up. I'd love to see it.

Date: 2010-03-24 11:52 am (UTC)
ext_85396: (Default)
From: [identity profile] unixronin.livejournal.com
Left-wing nuts seem to have a tamer vocabulary: shadowy conspiracies of the powerful; accusations of greed and lack of compassion; accusations of hypocrisy. The only times a leftist brings up sexual immorality are when hypocrisy is involved, e.g. the Catholic church's pederastic priests or numerous "family values" Republicans caught with their pants down.
You forgot the "Every gun owner is a mass murderer who just hasn't killed anyone YET" and the "Every [non-progressive] man is a rapist Neanderthal who just hasn't raped YET" accusations. I'm not certain whether the first falls within the scope of your thesis, but I'm pretty sure the second does.

Date: 2010-03-25 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jmkelly.livejournal.com
An interesting parallel: the right-wing nuts talk about using their guns, left-wing nuts accuse them of being trigger-happy. It's almost like they're agreeing with each other.

I'd forgotten the fringe feminist position that all heterosexual intercourse in a male-dominated society is necessarily rape. Thanks for reminding me. It sharpens up the picture a bit. But it's my impression that in this society rape is not classed as a perversion like bestiality or pederasty. It's a crime, but -- the distinction that comes to mind is the one from Blazing Saddles:

Applicant: Stampedin' cattle ...
Hedley Lamarr: Stampeding cattle? Is that all?
Appl: ... through the Vatican.
Lamarr (pleased): Ahhh. Kinky!

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Gan Ainm

September 2010

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