Monday, November 28, 2005

Jay Marvin's Fretard Repellent

Jay Marvin has a great strategy for dealing with rightwing callers. He doesn't let them throw out meaningless epithets or assertions and then move on to other points, but immediately challenges them to back up what they say, and will not let it go.

This morning on Jay Marvin's show (while he was also filling in for Jerry Springer), a curmudgeon called in from Cheyenne. He said it was blowing like a bat out of you know where up there (I was at my parents' house up there yesterday, when the thermostat said it was 20 degrees and the wind was gusting hard while I was running back and forth between the house and the garage to pack leftover Thanksgiving food and luggage in the car), which was the only true thing he said. He's sick of the liberal commie pinkos like Jay and Jerry. That's as far as he got. If he had another point, we may never know what it was.

That's because Jay demanded to know what it was that he or Jerry have said that was in line with Marxist-Leninist thought, Stalin, Kim Jong-Il, Mao, or any of the real communists. In the face of an actual informed discussion of communism, the caller's only response was "Now you're getting elitist on me." I kid you not. Being asked to have a rudimentary knowledge of the terms one uses is "elitist." (I roared with laughter at that one).

Jay called it exactly right. The guy was an ignorant bully and a "red-baiting coward." The assertion that the Left are commies or communist sympathizers is still all too common in some quarters. My mom still calls the Left Communist-Socialists, making no distinction between the two, not understanding what the two political philosophies mean, or recognizing the fact that, though the Left wants limited socialism (as do most of the American electorate, regardless of political affiliation), the vast majority of the American Left are capitalists. We could more accurately be called Social Democrats, which makes us neither communists nor socialists, nor a party striving to be either communists or socialists.

I can't speak for all on the Left, but I think this pretty much sums up our political philosophy

Views of Social Democrats today
In general, contemporary Social Democrats support:

Jay Marvin's strategy is one that should be adopted by everyone. Whenever a term that has "special meaning" to the Right is thrown into a discussion, the user must be challenged to discuss the actual meaning and applicability of that term, ending any further discussion until the issue is addressed.

A few other meaningless epithets lobbed at the Left to be defined and substantively discussed:
Liberal activist judges
Lack of support for the troops
Treason

"Like muh Mama always said, them dudes what wrote the Constitution created a restrictive concept of the crime of treason so that ordinary partisan divisions within political society would not be escalated by the stronger into capital charges of treason."

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