2012 brings our country a compelling period of politics. This time around, there are more factions than ever. Some are clearly defined, some are without definition, some are Trojan horses. Suddenly having so many to choose from, most of us still can’t discern one group from another, much less what the actual messages are. So a moment of enlightenment to define who some of the players are and examples of the use of labels to redirect thoughts and behaviors.
Firebaggers A firebagger is a term of derision used (usually on blogs) by supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama in arguments with people who criticize President Obama and other Democrats from the political left. The term is a conflation of “Teabagger” the term of derision used to describe right wing Tea Party or far right wing Republican activists.
Emo Progressive (or “emoprog”) is a term, along with firebagger, permanently replaced through the collaboration of their respective creators with a single, more definitive one: Puritopian. A Puritopian is a “self-described liberal or progressive whose political orientation is to be angry, dissatisfied and unhappy with the state of the nation, because in their view, liberal policies are not being implemented quickly or forcefully enough. They have particular contempt for Democratic presidents…Puritopians dislike Republicans but reserve their greatest disdain for Democratic presidents, whom they relentlessly attack for not meeting a set of ideological goal posts that are constantly adjusted to ensure that the president will be deemed a disappointment, ‘not progressive enough’ or ‘just like a Republican,’ no matter what policy achievements are made.” Are Puritopians correct at times? The answer is likely. The questions become, however, other than ongoing critiques, where are the realistic resolutions that are being proffered as alternatives and is every criticism supported by irrefutable facts?
Do you know what and who the “Professional Left” is? The term “professional left” denotes a growing industry that specializes in converting other people’s money into an ideological product, while making a good living out of it in the process. They are often interchangeable with Firebaggers and EmoProgs Professional Leftists are paid to write the faux-progressive, anti-Obama, hand-wringing meme the MSM is only too happy to broadcast. The strategy is that you and I assume they are caring liberal individuals who tell you we are victimized by every decision President Obama makes. In reality, they are a well-paid covert tactic. Their existence begs questions: What exactly is their objective? To create a left-wing version of the Tea Party? Could it be to reduce voter turnout and if so, who exactly does that benefit? Or is it simply that by acting as the journalistic provocateur one gets hordes of clicks on one’s website, which turns into a lucrative revenue stream? After all, controversy is the one of the most lucrative sales tactics in the USA.
What about labels? AG Eric Holder was right after all. Race does need to be put on the national table and honestly discussed. Not likely to happen soon, but intelligent people will want to understand how labels are being used in overt and covert ways to quell conversations and bully freedom of thought into silence. To discuss race does not make one a racist, however it’s the most popular thought-stopping label used when a person doesn’t agree with the opinion of others, especially when the opposing point of view cannot be refuted because it’s the truth. Racism is “the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination.” Racism is, in the most simplistic definition, a perceived power welded to demean, abuse, terminate socially, politically, emotionally, and/or physically, based solely upon color of skin or known origins; all justified by the notion of racial superiority. Embedded racism is “a term used to describe the display of subtly racist tendencies or delivery of racist subliminal messages, oftentimes without the speaker knowing [/acknowledging] that they’ve said anything offensive.” A racist is a person who uses limited knowledge, deliberate ignore-ance, and paradigms that are inherited or predetermined to define others and/or justify their actions, projecting those beliefs on others — even if those beliefs are not the truth. Racism is neither gender nor race specific; intra-racism and/or internalized racism exists as well. Today’s political climate has, unfortunately, resulted in the use of racism and race-baiting as a strategy of diversion and divisiveness. Politicians and pundits alike use race to create controversy, reinforce stereotypical paradigms, engage their likeminded constituency, and divert attention from the more compelling issues on the local and national table — or to sell their latest book. When caught in the more blatant efforts, the current trend is to apologize or attempt to explain/justify, claim victimization. Wash, rinse, repeat with no real consequences. Israel Firster. A term used by journalistic provocateurs on the left “to suggest that some conservative American Jewish reporters, pundits, and policymakers are more concerned with the interests of the Jewish state than those of the United States…’Israel Firster‘ has a nasty anti-Semitic pedigree, one that many Jews will intuitively understand without knowing its specific history. It turns out white supremacist Willis Carto was reportedly the first to use it, and David Duke popularized it through his propaganda network. And yet Rosenberg and others actually claim they’re using it to stimulate “debate,” rather than effectively mirroring the tactics of some of the people they criticize.” Muslim. A religion not a race. A life process not a place. Is not synonymous with terrorist. Or President Barack Hussein Obama. Note: what most choose not to understand is that one cannot be a Muslim and embrace Christianity publicly or privately. But in the minds of the uninformed, terrorist equals Muslim equals black equals the “N” word.
Let’s be clear: I am not saying that anyone who challenges the President’s decisions falls into these categories. Freedom of speech still prevails. But if the whine is not fact-related or the criticism is without corroboration and weighed down with political agenda, and worse still, if the seemingly innocuous, inherent threat of violence continues to escalate, the onus is on you to question the agenda of the person with the mike or access to a computer. Sorry, no shortcuts. The collateral damage of such ongoing memes left unchecked? We all are.
Stay tuned next time: Primer for 2012 Politics -Part II: The “P” Word.