Terror Warnings

Digby and Seeing the Forest have excellent posts on how calling Liberals traitors just isn’t good enough anymore. Now we’re terrorists.

What I find interesting about this is that we are defined thusly because of our alleged goal of “the destruction of the country and society that vanquished its dreams fifteen years ago” (according to Nelson Ascher, from Digby’s post) or, as PETA is identified (by the Heritage Foundation’s TownHall, in Seeing the Forest’s post), the destruction of property in pursuit of a goal.

One might reasonably argue that Conservatives who are interested in blurring the line separating church and state, or enacting tax laws that are slowly eroding the middle class, or undermining social programs which provide a safety net to all Americans, are actually doing more to destruct the country than, say, legalizing gay marriage would. One might also reasonably question why PETA is singled out as a terrorist organization as a result of tactics such as property damage, but pro-life groups that have bombed abortion clinics and murdered doctors who perform abortions are not.

I’m not arguing that destruction of property is an acceptable strategy; personally, I find it objectionable that there are animal-rights activists who throw paint on people, even though I despise the wearing of fur as much as anyone. My point is simply that the double-standard is curious. Nothing new, though, is it?

I also question the wisdom of turning “terrorist” into a catch-all phrase invoked to denigrate anyone with whom one disagrees. Surely there is less to be gained by attempts to equate activists with the likes of Osama bin Laden than there is to be lost by desensitizing people to the term, thereby likely creating apathy toward the concept in its original definition, for which we should rightfully reserve some outrage.

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