Monday, July 03, 2006

Labels that don't stick

Labels That Don’t Stick” was first published by STYLE Weekly on April 7, 2004. The piece, written by yours truly, attempts to knock down the modern usage of political labels which no longer make sense, but live on, thriving, anyway. Here’s how it begins:

“The terms ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative,’ as used by many of today’s chattering pundits and campaigning politicians, are as outdated as your Uncle Dudley’s lime green leisure suit or that open can of beer you left on the porch railing yesterday afternoon. In the turbulent 1960s, such convenient left-right labels may have been misnomers at times, too, but at least they made some sense. In the context of the Cold War Era -- with explosive issues such as the Vietnam War and civil rights in the air -- it was useful to see a left-to-right political spectrum. In those days, segregationists and hawks derisively called their most vocal opponents ‘liberals’ and ‘pinkos.’ Civil rights demonstrators and doves didn’t mind calling their opposites ‘right-wingers’ and ‘fascists.’ And in spite of how the circumstances and issues have changed since then, the same threadbare labels have remained in use.


“Well, it’s mainly because it has suited the people attempting to cash in on conditioned reactions to words such as ‘left’ and ‘right,’ ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative.’”

Click here to read the rest of it.

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