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Monday, April 25, 2005

The Era of Demogoguery

Demogoguery is defined as "impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace". Unfortunately, demogoguery is becoming more and more the defining quality of political discourse in this country. The recent debate, if I can call it that, regarding President Bush's judicial appointments has highlighted this trend. And both sides are equally guilty.

"Justice Sunday" was held yesterday and sponsored by the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said,
"We must stop this unprecedented filibuster of people of faith."
In fact, the tagline of this event is "Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith".

This rhetoric certainly doesn't appeal to reason. It strikes me as more of a scare tactic. I am sympathetic with the cause of having the President's appointees voted upon but I think that this language may alienate just as many people as it attracts.

On the other side of this discussion is Frank Rich of the New York Times. Rich said in an op-ed piece yesterday:
"Justice Sunday" is a humbug, albeit one with real potential consequences. It brings mass-media firepower to a campaign against so-called activist judges whose virulence increasingly echoes the rhetoric of George Wallace and other segregationists in the 1960's."

Mr. Rich, why not just call the "Justice Sunday" organizers members of the KKK while you are at it?

Just because so much of our culture has embraced an increasing courseness doesn't mean that we should pander to this impulse.

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