Enough already with the “Socialist this,” and the “Social Darwinist that”
One of the big topics raging through the Blogoshere this week stems from the “thinly veiled social Darwinism” meme that the left is currently test-ballooning. Jennifer Rubin, Robert Wright, the NYT, Beck’s Blaze, Red State, etc., etc., etc. Here at the League, its already being touched upon by awesome liberal blogger Elias E and awesome conservative blogger Mike D. It feels like anyone and everyone with a keyboard wants to go all in by either piling on with arguments supporting the idea that the GOP are a bunch of social Darwinists, or conveying shock – shock! – at these scurrilous charges by the conniving Left.
Want to know where your favorite blogger comes down on this issue? Here’s a pretty good litmus test: If your favorite blogger has spent the past three years writing about how Obama is a Socialist, they’re probably crying about the unfairness of this new meme. And if your favorite blogger has been pointing out that fact Obama is no more of a socialist than Bush was before him, then it’s a good bet he or she is currently pushing hard on this new meme. And I’m already tired of the whole thing.
From my point of view, both the “socialist” meme and the “social Darwinist” meme are pretty much the same, and have three major things in common:
1. Each uses a word that has been chosen for no other reason than it inspires a negative reaction with voters.
2. The use of each is totally defendable if one uses an overly simplistic definition. (e.g. socialist = someone who gets the government to do things/social darwinist = someone who uses and or allows a given system to favor one group over another)
3. Each group feels justified using their meme as a cudgel due to these simplistic definitions, despite the fact that by these same simplistic definitions their own group is just as guilty of the condemned behavior as the group they are trying to discredit.
Seriously, is there really nothing more important going on to debate than the Socialist vs. Social Darwinist pooh flinging? Do we really need this much bandwidth quibbling about marketing slogans that we all know are bulls**t?