I HAVE BEEN dubbed a jerk. And not for the first time. I have also been called an a-hole.
A collectivist blogger down on the sweaty Mexican coast took issue with my calling Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a perennial, left-wing, Mexican presidential candidate — who never can quite manage to win and gets very indignant when he does not — a semi-literate demagogue.
Let’s look at the two elements of my accusation. Start with demagogue. My Cambridge Online Dictionary defines the word thusly:
A political leader who wins support by exciting people’s emotions rather than giving them reasons.
López Obrador, better known by his initials AMLO, certainly qualifies. Were he to actually win one day, he would be Mexico’s Hugo Chávez, just without the beret and military training.
I have never listened to AMLO more than a few seconds, but my child bride has. She says he butchers Spanish in the style of a country bumpkin, so there you have the semi-literate.
For pointing this out, I have been labeled a jerk. Again, not for the first time. And a few years back, I referred here to a woman who favors Obama as “a left-winger.” I do not consider left-winger any more an epithet than I consider right-winger an epithet. I openly confess that I am a right-winger, which means conservative.
These are political stances, not cuss words.
That acquaintance, who has red hair and perhaps speaks before sufficient thought at times, fired off an email, calling me an a-hole. I shorten the word because The Unseen Moon is a family website, plus I value decorum.
We live in sad times. Our political life is highly polarized, and those on the extremes are very prone to name-calling. And that — as their mothers might point out — reflects badly on them. Tilting to the conservative side, I naturally believe those on the left are more guilty of name calling than we on the right.
We, of course, are the traditionalists, the conservatives and, for the most part, we dodge potty talk. We tend to offer rational arguments or religious faith for our beliefs instead of epithets. Of course, we have nothing in our valise like that colossal, all-encompassing, catch-all, mouth rocket so loved by the left: Racist!
Of course, I’ve been called that too, more than once. But who hasn’t?
Yes, we live in troubling, sad — and rude — times.