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Thu Dec 29, 2011, 07:35 PM

Is the word "conservative" about to become a putdown? [View all]

The word "Republican" has gone out of vogue thanks to George W. Bush and the Great Recession. One needs look no further than the Tea Party to see a clear example of stout-hearted Republicans running away from their party name and performance. Nowadays, even the most Republican of Republicans knows to sidestep their party affiliation when in polite company. If nothing else, it lets them avoid being asked if they voted for Bush.

The word Republican is toast, but what about the talismanic, argument-settling, self-worth-asserting word "conservative" itself? Have its many unfortunate recent associations with crackpots, serial liars, and flabby, diamond-ring-twisting hegemons finally brought down the last safe right wing word? What will conservatism call itself now that the word conservative is starting to become short for "laughably deranged asshole" in popular culture?

There has been a perceptible change in the Zeitgeist. I can't say for sure when it occurred. Perhaps at some point the Tea Party took off its glasses and everyone saw it was just George W. Republican after all. Maybe enough people witnessed Rush Limbaugh twitching on video making fun of Alex P. Keaton's multiple sclerosis. Maybe a critical mass of media consumers noticed that recently Fox News has begun to morph into a culture-wide laughingstock. I don't know when it happened, but the writing is on the Facebook wall.

Saying "I'm conservative" these days doesn't mean what it did ten short years ago. The presumption of respectability formerly accorded the words has disintegrated. The good will has dwindled to a puddle. Thanks to the hard work of self-professed "conservatives" like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and (let's definitely not forget) Glenn Beck, saying "I'm conservative" today is a quick way to lose people. If the trend continues, it won't be long before calling someone a "conservative" will be a putdown.

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Reply Is the word "conservative" about to become a putdown? [View all]
gulliver Dec 2011 OP
slay Dec 2011 #1
elleng Dec 2011 #2
backscatter712 Dec 2011 #3
eridani Dec 2011 #4
opihimoimoi Dec 2011 #5
Bluenorthwest Dec 2011 #6
Zorra Dec 2011 #7
TroglodyteScholar Dec 2011 #10
IDemo Dec 2011 #8
TroglodyteScholar Dec 2011 #9
Proud Liberal Dem Dec 2011 #11
tledford Dec 2011 #12
LiberalFighter Dec 2011 #13
dawg Dec 2011 #15
LiberalFighter Dec 2011 #17
izquierdista Dec 2011 #14
socialist_n_TN Dec 2011 #16
Odin2005 Dec 2011 #18
mazzarro Dec 2011 #19