August 22, 2003

Phil Agre on the conservative revolution

That last post rang a bell, which turns out to have been forged in TNO 2(1), the January 1995 edition of Phil Agre's influential newsletter, The Network Observer.

One sign of the ongoing decimation of the liberal coalition is its nearly complete lack of rhetorical traction in rebutting conservative arguments. We can see this, for example, in the impunity with which conservative rhetors have appropriated words like "elites" (a term which no longer includes bankers but does include journalists), "bigotry" and "hate" (now used to signify opposition to the political program of religious conservatives), and "political correctness" (a term which formerly was rarely used in seriousness by anyone but sectarian Leninists but which now routinely conflates social dissent and political repression).

Remember how George Bush I used the phrase "a card-carrying member of the ACLU" to skewer Michael Dukakis during the 1988 campaign?

Posted by Gene at August 22, 2003 05:09 PM | TrackBack
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