Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rightwing propaganda 101

Don't think I've ever called anyone an "elitist" or worse, an "elite."

No doubt, I've said far meaner things too many times to count. Still, "elitist" is just not a term that would have occurred to me to use as a putdown, before I was old enough to realize that it reeks of pettiness and jealousy to use it that way.

Now, in 2012, there' a new angle to calling a particular person an "elitist."

Some who use that word to denigrate President Barack Obama were actually born with silver spoons in their own mouths; others are quite well off because they went to top shelf universities and have been successful in their chosen fields of endeavor. Yet I read and hear those same comfortable conservative Republicans use “elitist” as a putdown all the time. 

Why that word? Is it simply more confounding anti-intellectualism? Or, is it more than that?

My guess is that rightwing propagandists, both amateur and professional, use that tactic -- with a wink -- because they are speaking in a code. It's a code they hope will be understood by relatively uneducated conservatives, who don‘t necessarily make a lot of money. They assume such conservatives are overstuffed with resentment toward certain well known people who don't deserve their celebrity status ... one, in particular.

Hey, how much sense does it really make for someone who supported former-President George W. Bush, and now supports former-Governor Willard "Mitt" Romney, to be playing the elite card against Obama?

But this strategy isn't about logic or proportion. No. The propagandists to which I am referring repeatedly say/write “elitist,” because they are savvy enough to know better than to call Obama “uppity.”

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