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Monday, November 14, 2005

Katherine Kersten's Korner

Today's Kersten kolumn can be summed up thusly: it's not nice to call people names. For everybody whose education ended before kindergarten, I suppose this is a new and fascinating thought. For most people...well, do you really need 488 words to say this?

The best part of the kolumn isn't this broad and deep idea, though. It's this little gem: "It's part of the much-noted recent decline in civility -- an anti-intellectualism, or rejection of reason, that afflicts our public discourse." I bet Kersten wrote that without the tiniest bit of irony entering her brain, considering that it is conservatives like her, and in fact Kersten herself, that is leading the charge of the anti-intellectual brigade to rampage through our public discourse.

For example, might it just possibly be anti-intellectual to say that gay marriage is causing a revolution and then fail to show a single fact that demonstrates this? How about a screed that trashes anti-war protestors based on their alleged media-whoredom and the groups that organized the rally? I wouldn't say that these things are hate speech, but they certainly aren't logical arguments based on facts.

Then, you have Republicans pushing Intelligent Design creationism, about as anti-intellectual an idea there is. How about comments like "America-hater" or "terrorist-coddler" that the right has used to impugn the patriotism of people who question this country's foreign policies? If there's one thing that the left will never be able to match with the right, it's the ability to name call. Commie. Baby-killer. Traitor. There are so many, and almost none of them are original. And I'm not even going to get into the policies that this current administration has with regards to outright lying to the public.

Of course, the Republicans don't have a monopoly on anti-intellectualism. But they have raised it to an art form, and they have made it a huge part of their election and governing strategy. For Kersten to complain about it is the proverbial pot calling the kettle a cheese-eating surrender monkey.

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