Let me first say I am not a fan of presidential candidate, Rick Santorum. But unlike Rolling Stone writer, Kristen Gwynne, I do not think of him as being “vile” and “extremist.” I think the people of the U.S. are smarter than that.
On Thursday (28 May 2015) she assembled a list of some of Santorum’s quotes saying because it is official he is running “it’s time to brush up on what he believes about abortion, gay people and more” and then introduced him as “Former Republican senator and known right-wing extremist” (emphasis added, but not really because it’s already there).
As I read through the list, it did give me pause because I thought, “hey, maybe I’m an extremist too. If one believes in marriage as it has been for 1000’s of years between a man and a woman, does that make one “vile”?
Uh oh. Like how the word “sick” in today’s vernacular can mean “awesome,” now “vile” describes someone who doesn’t agree with mainstream media mantras? Hm. Okay. I might be “vile.”
Now granted, I think Gwynne has a bit of a point in her first used quote to her credit, but I wouldn’t paint Santorum as “vile” because of it, I guess because I still use the old definition.
1. On same-sex marriage, 2004: “This is an issue just like 9/11. We didn’t decide we wanted to fight the war on terrorism because we wanted to. It was brought to us. And if not now, when? When the supreme courts in all the other states have succumbed to the Massachusetts version of the law?”
Drawing a parallel between real extremists such as those responsible for 9/11 and those who want to marry the same-sex is a little extreme, but I don’t agree it equates Santorum to being an extremist as being synonymous to a terrorist, as the word “extremist” connotes in Gwynne’s list of Santorum’s quotes.
The only reason I take issue with this publication is because it used extreme adjectives to drive clicks to the page, and when you get there you see it is a bait-and-switch of language.
The listed synonyms for the word “vile” are:
evil, wicked, shameful, depraved, base
What I think is extreme, and a bit wicked even, is painting those who don’t agree with your worldview as “vile” and “extremist.”
It comes across as desperate and juvenile, and even greedy, considering examples such as this appear to be merely ploys to drive traffic to a site for monetary gain.
A little, base?
I won’t pursue a full critique on the extreme use of terms in this publication. We all know why it’s done. Click the link above for your own reference if you want more examples from the intolerant-agenda.
Unfortunately though I believe society has very possibly reached the point where if/when one disagrees with another, they are coined as being “vile” and “extremist.” So sad so many are so easily manipulated by words. It gives me pause to make sure I teach my child it is okay to befriend those with different beliefs than her and that when she meets other with different ideas about life, that doesn’t make them vile-extremists.
There have been other cultures that did this in the not too distant past led by real mouthpieces for intolerance towards those who lived differently and believed different things about mankind and God in society.
And if we don’t pause and see how mishandling terms such as those used in this Rolling Stone article effect culture, we very well might end up burning up books that articulate opposing views to mainstream mantras in the streets .
(2 different cultures, 2 different times, 1 common goal. Get rid of opposing views)
We’re not yet burning books, but we better assess the track we’re on and the consequence of our words used to describe those we don’t agree with. The burning books may very well become those that are written by opposing politicians, artists, poets, musicians, teachers, and anyone else who is regarded as “vile” and “extreme” by mainstream outlets.
Different opinion? Yes.
While this is not as juicy as throwing mud on Santorum’s face, it is more accurate and assumes people are smart enough on their own to draw his/her own conclusions.