Thursday, November 03, 2005

Labels That Don't Stick

In the contemporary political game when players call themselves, or their opponents, “liberals” or “conservatives,” sometimes they are jerking you around by what they think are your habits. Labels are easy, sometimes too easy. With an election on the horizon in Virginia please read F. T. Rea's 2004 OpEd in STYLE Weekly.

"In 1991 a radio news story described a political brouhaha in Russia between the ascending free-market style reformers and the old guard, the stubborn communists -- who were going out of style faster than a Leningrad minute. No, make that a St. Petersburg minute. The report labeled those clinging to the Soviet system as 'conservatives' and those in the process of sweeping them out of power as 'liberals.' When considered in light of the familiar Western view of matters political -- capitalists on the right vs. socialists on the left -- the role reversal of this situation’s fresh context was striking and amusing."

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