I completely lost it with someone on a forums I frequent. Their post was the last straw for me in a series of similar encounters on several forums involving similar circumstances. I ignored it, but not today. I wrote my original response in haste, but I wanted to clarify here.
Over the past several years I’ve noticed the increasing usage of terms such as ‘liberal’, ‘lefties’, ‘neo-cons’, ‘facists’ and ‘right-wingers’ to describe people. I doubt this is a new phenomenon, but it is something that has been infecting the media. Traditional left-right labeling was based on whether or not one was interventionist (social democratic) or free market (conservative). It would appear that it has gone way, way beyond that. These terms are everywhere, on the radio, on television, in the newspapers, in magazines, on the internet, blogs, forums, message boards. Their meaning is obscure. You will be called a lefty if you prefer a plastic coffee mug to a paper or styrofoam. I believe that forestry is not an evil enterprise; therefore I am a neo-con right wing fascist (I have been called something similar when discussing forest and forest policy on a forum). Because of such crappy writing and word contect, there are a few sites that I no longer visit (unfortunately, some of them had good content)…I just couldn’t read the responses anymore. It is a cancer. Using such terms within a literal and serious manner is one of the most blatantly ignorant acts of labeling and stereotyping I have ever seen. Futhermore, what sickens me most about it is that nobody appears to have any doubts, or even questions the use of such language. It appears that even as we are breaking down the walls of prejudice, racial and sexual stereotypes, we are building more under the guise of political debate and argument. It would seem that it is now socially acceptable to refer to an individual in this manner. One can no longer be a complex and diverse individual full of varying opinions…you are either lefty or a rightly. How can you morally and ethically paste such a generalized description of someone based on one or two of their political opinions? I fucking hate it. It is disgraceful to read, hear and watch what would appear to be intellectual individuals resort to such childish language. Nothing says idiot or moron more than someone who uses this crap in an adjective form. STOP DOING IT!!!!!!
The political spectrum is a system, a tool; used mainly in high school for teaching the basic positions of various forms of government and rule. It is NOT a personality or character labeling machine. We DON’T describe people like this. Remember that.