While perusing the world of blogs this morning, I encountered a piece on Think Progress that caught my eye. I read it and then followed it to the comments section. I was struck by the number of times expletives were used by bloggers in the comments section.
It's not something new. I have read blogging comments and blogs themselves, all over the internet, that are replete with profanities. What I usually do when I encounter them in a blog or a comment is stop reading.
I am not some shrinking violet who is offended by such words -- I have been known to use a good curseword now and then (he said modestly). But, if I admit it, they do me more good than anyone else. It may be emotionally satisfying to hurl a profanity against Dick Cheney every now and then (he certainly felt free, himself, to hurl one against Senator Patrick Leahy), but it doesn't help me understand what specific criticism the person is making about Cheney, and it certainly doesn't enthuse or mobilize me against Cheney in any meaningful way.
While I can't stand Tucker Carlson, and while I abhor the Republican Right, I am not pleased to see progressives referring to them as "Republicunts." It attaches a certain feminine characteristic to a political party that is anything but feminine or femininist, it uses a demeaning word most commonly associated with soldiers in barracks, high school boys in locker rooms, and misogynists who are threatened by women. Using words like this in our written or spoken attacks and criticisms of the Bush regime and its corporate and Christian allies diminishes our position, rather than enhances it. If we can't show their lies, their miscreant behavior, their greed and corruption in language other than this, we'll never be taken seriously.
I'm sure the person who used the cute trick of "Fucker" Carlson felt clever, but it interfered with his point, if he had one. What does that mean anyway? Does it mean that he copulates? We all do. Copulation is a good thing. For that matter, cunts are a good thing. Why is it that we use the language of sex, something most humans love, to attack and demean other people? It is ineffective and puerile, quite frankly.
Listen, the more we undermine these people on the issues, rather than attack them in emotional tirades, the more effect we will have. The more we reveal their misdeeds and lies in clear straightforward language, backed up by evidence and facts, the more we will change people's minds and the more change we can create in America.
If you think about all the most successful non-violent revolutions, they were led by people who stood on their principles and spoke truth. Can you imagine Susan B. Anthony, or Ghandi, or Nelson Mandela, or Rosa Parks, or Martin Luther King Jr. speaking words like this today? Let's emulate them and speak truth to these liars and thieves. People will listen to that.