Friday, April 11, 2003

Guilt tripping the GOP

Digby posts today on the differing public perception of left-wing vs. right-wing extremists. Namely, why is it that the left, as a whole, is painted as being of-a-kind with its most radical elements while the right, as a whole, is generally given a pass for the actions of its own extreme elements? Digby suggests that a major part of this is the right-wing dominated media publicizing examples of left-wing extremism much more often then it does right-wing extremism. I agree.
The problem for Democrats isn't our cultural nonconformists who embarrass and disconcert the bourgeoisie. Our problem is the GOP extremists who are now directing the government and buying up the media while dishonestly presenting themselves as moderate middle of the roaders. The Republicans have successfully convinced a lot of people that kooky gay guys "shocking" the straights or removing the word God from the pledge of allegiance are more of a threat to them than a series of expensive unilateral wars while bankrupting the government and discarding the safety net and all consumer protections. We have to recognize that the other side will demonize us no matter what we actually do so there is no margin in trying to tailor our image. The other side won't let that happen. We have to depend upon our ideas and our candidates making a better case. And we have to finally go after the other side with everything in our arsenal. Worrying about our own extremists instead of exposing theirs is playing into their hands.
The moderate left has, unfortunately, gotten into the habit of worrying more about its own public perception then taking the time to bring down the public perception of the moderate right. The left needs to start doing its own fair share of demonizing. It needs to continuously point out the presence of extremism on the right and ask the moderate elements of the GOP why they tolerate them. Make them feel a little uncomfortable for once. It's time to bring back a little old-fashioned guilt to the Grand Old Party.

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