Kilroy Was Here
December 20, 2002
Personality Politics
Right Wing News has posted it's 20 Most Annoying Liberals of 2002 on it's website, and I can't help but wonder why? Then I remember; the politics of personality work.

Conservatives in America have been running against personalities and avoiding ideas since 1980. Democrats and liberals do it, too, but the Republican political machine has mastered it. (For example, you won't be seeing any 20 Most Annoying Conservatives of 2002 on a site). Running on ideas takes a lot of work, research, thought; running against a personality just takes a well-timed insult.

More importantly, though, personality politics work. It's easy to demonize people, and then dismiss them with a label. Don't like a domestic policy? Suddenly it's "Clintonesque". Don't like criticisim of your offensive racial ideas? That's just those libs being politically correct. Hey, anti-deficit economists getting in the way of your tax cut? They're "Rubinites". And the list goes on and on.

Suddenly, you don't need to be an active political thinker. You can consume your politics the same way you consume your sports, and political debate in our country spirals down to the level of sports-talk radio.

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