The most commonly abused terminology - Tucson Local Media: Editorials

The most commonly abused terminology

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Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:00 am

I do not "blog," although I post on some. I dislike the format because it allows for anonymity, which I don't hide behind on my own posts. You want to run off at the pen, have the guts to tell me who you really are like I tell you.

Something we who do talk radio learn quickly is to dump the dumb caller as rapidly as possible. Allowing some yahoo to rant is an invitation to station change.

The late Marshall Fritz, well known in libertarian and educational freedom circles, once explained to me a principle from Little League coaching he called "Gresham's Law of People." Taken from the economic principle that bad money drives out good, he believed that loud-mouthed jerks drove away good folks and should be purged early and often for the health of any organization.

Newspaper editors have discretion when it comes to letters to the editor, which must be signed hopefully by a real person or even the person who actually wrote them. Some blogs are policed better than others. But the amount of illiterate drivel allowed to pass from left, right and ignorant center is still appalling.

I find many right-wing posters to be embarrassments, not for me personally or my philosophy, but for themselves. Hyper-active newbies always emerge whenever there is any kind of popular awakening, from opposing the Viet Nam War in the '60s to opposing the Obama leftist agenda now.

California conservatives had a name for the worst of this category in the early '60s – one-book Birchers. They read "I Saw Poland Betrayed." Actually, they got up to page 23. It took three days. They found out there were communists and that was enough. They usually didn't stay active long. This was pre-blog or they would've hung around longer.

There are left-wing equivalents, but they're not my problem. You know who they are. Some of them on both sides are decent folks who just don't know any better. My job is to help clean up my own. Best way to do that is to clarify the most commonly abused terminology.

• RINO, or Republican in Name Only. A simple measurement separates them from liberal Republicans. RINOS are Republicans like Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, who are not only liberals but don't support other Republicans in general elections. Except for the Mecham recall in 1988, Sen. McCain hasn't publicly dumped on other GOP nominees. He's not a RINO and is too inconsistent to qualify as a liberal. I think CINO probably fits him best.

Conservatives and particularly conservative Republicans must learn these distinctions. Mayor Guliani is not a conservative, but supports the ticket. Mayor Bloomberg is a Republican out of convenience only and doesn't. Real RINOS were the GOP officials who walked on Barry Goldwater in 1964.

• Conservative. There's broad philosophical diversity in the movement which includes some libertarians. There are libertarians who don't consider themselves conservatives, and conservatives who agree. Before you decide to yell sell-out or RINO, please note the lack of conservative consensus on immigration, fair tax, term limits, the Afghan war, and the foreign policy diversity you get from Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan. Both qualifed as RINOs for having once run on another party's ticket. Republicans holding party roles talking third party also qualify.

• Socialist. Has specific meanings and, like conservative, is highly diverse. Marxist? Positivist? Fabian? National? Fascist? Hint: It was not socialized medicine when the Roman Army sent early medics along with each Legion. Learn to focus.

There's more. Hopefully there are some folks I have thoroughly offended. I can only hope those wishing to berate me will use their real names.

Hear Emil Franzi and Tom Danehy Saturdays 1-4 p.m. on KVOI 1030AM.

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