Monday, August 07, 2006

Inflammatory Transubstantiation

From Think Progress (all emphasis mine):

" have what I think is a legitimate insurgency in Connecticut, which needs to be met head on and debated head on, which is people who say this is so hard, it is so frightening, it’s so painful, can’t we come home and hide? And I think if Lamont wins next Tuesday, it will be the beginning of extraordinarily important period in American politics, and in American history. For all of us to have this debate. How dangerous are the terrorists? How dangerous are the dictatorships? And what does America have to do in that kind of a dangerous world?"

It is a hallmark of extremist ideology to suggest that opposing viewpoints cannot be allowed to exist. It is similarly an extremist hallmark to suggest that the election of one state senator will usher in a new era of death and destruction.

This sort of alarmist rhetoric has no place in our national debate at this time. It inflames the fear of the people for baldly partisan goals and lowers the discourse to a level of ideological "he said/she said".

Do you know how "insurgency" is defined? I didn't. What I know of the word is what it's typically associated with - namely, the terrorists in Iraq. Hell of a comparison, no?

But what Gingrich says is that what we have in Connecticut right now is "a legitimate insurgency".

So let's see how "insurgency" is defined.

1. The quality or circumstance of being rebellious.
2. An instance of rebellion; an insurgence.

Cambridge dictionary:

1. Someone who is fighting against the government in their own country: "All approaches to the capital are now under the control of the insurgents."
2. Someone who opposes especially political authority

Got that? Anyone who disagrees with current policy, or who would seek to install someone critical of current policy, is fighting against the government in their own country. They oppose political authority.

None of this is false, per se. In a way, this is what LaMont's supporters are doing. But they're doing it for the same reason Americans always have - because they disagree, not because they want to bring America down. And they're doing it with words and votes, not guns and terror.

Gingrich's comments suggest that unless you support the Republicans' preferred candidate, you are supporting a rebellion. The carefully-chosen "insurgency" suggests that rebellion is similar to, or supportive of, the one occuring now in Iraq.

It's irresponsible, anti-American and wildly-transparent. Which doesn't surprise me. Disgust, however, is still a valid alternative.


At 2:39 PM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Checkity check your email Matt.


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