Sunday, January 09, 2005

Lashing out


There’s a good essay by Gary Younge in the Guardian on how the Right’s backlash continues, even while the Left increasingly lashes in the first place. The national debate is thus conducted entirely within terms framed by the Right. Younge blames Clinton, which is too easy, for turning the occasional necessary capitulation by the left from a matter of pragmatism into a dogma, “triangulation.” Younge:
“The absence of the lash simply changed the nature of the backlash. It is no longer an act of political retribution: the right has turned it into an art form.
“First it finds an enemy - preferably a weak minority - gays, unmarried mothers, Muslims, the irreligious, international law or small countries that break international law, asylum seekers, Gypsies etc. In the inconvenient instance that a real enemy, no matter how exaggerated, cannot be found, it constructs one: the "liberal establishment", the "armies of political correctness", the "liberal media" or "feminazis". Then, with the enemy, real or invented, in place, it simply creates and inflates the crisis to suit, and bingo - the bespoke backlash. No lash required. Add venom and mix recklessly.”

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