Profoundly Harmful

David Neiwert’s got a great new post, continuing the debunking of Malkin’s Unhinged and conservative eliminationist rhetoric. Just a day after I went off on one about the marginalization of liberals, and recommended that those who hold progressives in contempt ought to thank a progressive for that particular luxury, Neiwert notes something very important about allowing a steady stream of rightwing vitriol against liberals to continue unabated:

The problem with this silence is that the left has done little to actually counter right-wing hatemongers like Limbaugh and Michael Savage and their thousand little imitators, giving them an open field in which to demonize mainstream liberalism -- which, if you listen to them at all, is what they do. As I've remarked previously, the effect of this sustained attack is most pronounced in rural America, where these radio talkers simply assail urban liberals on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Much of this, as I've also explained, is deeply personal stuff. Liberals, over the past 15 years, have been regularly portrayed as being out to lunch, uncaring and hostile to mainstream and rural values, and unpatriotic traitors. Deeply patriotic, hard-working, family-oriented liberals have been having their characters assaulted relentlessly before their neighbors and friends. It affects family relationships, old friendships, and our deeper ties to our communities in profoundly harmful ways.
If that doesn’t speak to you in some way, consider yourself very lucky. It certainly speaks to me, though my personal experience with the residual effects of how those who listen to rightwing hatemongering regard liberals is something that I don’t write about, and probably never will. But it’s one of many reasons why this issue is important to me, not least of which is, as Neill said in comments, “In a powerful sense, leftism is Americanism.”

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