There is a lot of discussion in the blogosphere about the language we use and opinions we make regarding its benefits in attracting Independent and Undecided voters to our respective sides. I’d like to address this concern.
As a blogger who takes herself only slightly seriously, I have to address my growing use of incendiary language. Let me preface this by saying that my familial roots are in Southern Louisiana. We know how to have a good time and tell it like its (ahem, I mean “it is.”). I’m not especially diplomatic, meaning I don’t beat around the bush when I have something to say. This doesn’t mean I’m an ogre – I’m totally fun – but I don’t feel that need for the approval of others that inhibits we Americans in our thoughts and speech.
Basically, we fear offending people. This “Can’t we just get along?” and “Uniter” feelgood kumbayah stuff has infiltrated our culture almost to the point of paralyzing progress on a social and political scale – and this is having an effect on our democracy and our economy.
Democrats suffer from this condition in spades. Lefties tend to use temperate and inclusive language that is interpreted as mealy-mouthed and weak. Just turn on your television and watch Obama “fight” back against the attacks by McCain and Palin – many of which are ridiculous, false, even perverse and EASILY disputed. Yet Obama plods along on policy, which is great unless you’re trying to win a presidential election. Democrats across the country are shuddering with memories of Gore and Kerry as Obama “uhs” and “ahs” through the campaign trail.
Republicans on the other hand have introduced Sarah Palin, a completely lacking candidate picked with very little deliberation and consideration. This woman should be nowhere near the 3 a.m. phone call or the red button, but she’s got spunk and charisma and the voters are flocking to her like moths to that light that electrocutes and kills them.
Consider Rush Limbaugh – on the air 20 years, Ann Coulter – a regular on the bestseller lists, Bill O’Reilly – tricks people into forgetting about his own lack of credibility (he was the Inside Edition host) and enjoys healthy ratings. For the most part, these people are off their rocker. They could not be farther from their rocker. If their rocker was the pope, they are the chap-wearing transvestites at Brazil’s Carnival. Yet, seemingly against all logic and reason, these incendiary Right Wing commentators have a vast sea of fans and believers. Because of the language the use and the manner with which they use it.
Furthermore, too many times, we allow political correctness to guide are efforts to produce progress, causing us to fail. The Suffragettes didn’t care if they angered people with their opinion. Or, if they did care, they angered those sonsabitches anyway! The Civil Rights movement gained strength by being confrontational, shaking people out of their comfort zones. In today’s day and age, we give religion privilege to the detriment of our freedoms and the health of our democracy. It is time those of us who do not heed incredible tales of walking on water and the existence of Hell to voice our opinion and stand together against the domination of organized religion. To do that, we must make people uncomfortable with our honesty and refusal to keep politics and religion “out of the conversation.” We’re coming to a crossroads with people wanting to change our democracy into a theocracy – and I will not hold my tongue.
Now, I don’t think we should use incendiary language for the sake of gaining support. Much more reasonably-written blogs receive much more attention than this one. But four-letter words and calling a spade a spade come naturally to me. The lies hurled incessantly by Republicans need to be fought with strong words – especially by those of us who don’t have to fear losing their jobs for saying what they think (CareerBuilder just released a survey saying one in five bosses screen potential applicants through web searches about them).
If someone is being a jackass, I’m going to call them a jackass – but my words will not be empty. I will always have an informed opinion and be able to back up what I say. I invite intelligent debates, but will defend my views.
I’ve always appreciated the American culture of fake niceness so derided by Europeans. And in a restaurant or in a bookstore – you’ll get a different genuine friendliness we who live in Texas are famous for. But when it comes to public policy, the Cajun is coming out. We’ve allowed the Right Wing to dominate public opinion with lies and Christian Bullshit. I have bullshit repellent and I’m going to use it. And until the more moderate and liberal members of society stand up, take a stand, and have the courage to use words and tones that might be “uncomfortable” for them, we’re going to continue to cede the leadership and our rights to the Right Wing. And that ain’t no lie.
Take off the filter, bring on the honesty and start letting those four-letter words flow like your freedom of speech depends on it! Cause it does.