One of the more appealing aspects about being on the Left is that you do not necessarily have to engage your opponents in debates over the truth or falsehood of their positions. You can simply dismiss your opponent as "anti."
Anti-worker: It all began with Marxism. If you opposed communism or socialism, you were not merely anti-communist or anti-socialist, you were anti-worker. This way of dismissing opponents of leftist ideas is now the norm. Anyone, including a Democrat, who raises objections to union control of state and local politics is labeled anti-worker: "anti-teacher," "anti-firefighter," "anti-nurse," etc. This is how the unions are fighting California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempts to rein in unauthorized union spending of members' dues to advance leftist political goals. He is depicted as an enemy of all these groups.
Anti-education: Those who object to the monopoly that teachers' unions have on public education and to their politicization of the school curricula are labeled "anti-education." Of course, the irony is that if you love education, you must oppose the teachers' unions.
Anti-intellectual: If you object to the dwindling academic standards at universities, or to the lack of diversity in ideas there, you are dismissed as "anti-intellectual." Given the universities' speech codes, the intellectually stifling Political Correctness that pervades academia, and the emotionalism that characterizes most leftist views on campus (American "imperialism," Israeli "apartheid," "war for oil" are emotional outbursts, not serious positions), if any side seems to express anti-intellectualism, it would be the Left.
Anti-Semite: Leftists who attack Israel frequently claim that they are shut down by irresponsible charges of anti-Semitism. The claim is that people who criticize Israeli government policies are labeled anti-Semites. I have never come across a normative conservative or any other pro-Israel source that has labeled mere criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. It is those who single out Israel of all the nations of the world for intense criticism, those who argue that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state (that it is, by definition, a "racist" state) who are sometimes charged -- and sometimes validly so -- with anti-Semitism.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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