Friday, January 23, 2015

"Evil" and Demonization Examples: 2008

EXAMPLES AND ANALYSIS: 2008 "Evil" and Demonization
"It is almost a wrong phrase, the politics of George Bush. It is kind of the inane stupidity and for lack of good, the absolute evil of it".
-- Actor and director Sean Penn, May 14, 2008 [CNN-IBN: Cannes' opening had all the makings of a movie (May 16, 2008)].

Comment: This instance of name-calling has Penn demonizing Bush by deriding him as both evil and mentally deficient.

"Liberalism by definition is a lie. Liberal policies, liberal beliefs, liberal plans all fail. Liberals know it. Liberals are in it for a host of reasons other than end results that actually work. End results that work, that don't involve government, threaten liberals. But all of liberalism is a lie".
-- Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, March 26, 2008.

Comment: To say, as Limbaugh does, that liberals consciously lie about all of their political beliefs and are not even hoping to achieve any moral goals, is caricature and demonizing.

"It's not too soon to explain to people what [Senator Barack] Obama [(D, IL)] and his presidency would mean, either [Senator] Hillary [Clinton (D, NY)] or Obama. You listen to that debate last night as I listened to it and you're listening to two people argue about how to destroy capitalism. That's what I heard. How can we destroy capitalism? ... We're not just talking about people who want to create dependents. We're talking about two people that want as many Americans to become serfs - s-e-r-f, serfs - of the state, as they can make, as they can manufacture".
-- Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, February 27, 2008.

Comment: This is a caricature. Limbaugh may disagree with the wisdom of Clinton and Obama's policies on government spending and taxes, but it is false that they are trying to destroy capitalism and put Americans into forced servitude. Limbaugh is also demonizing Clinton and Obama by falsely accusing them of malicious intentions.

"The Republican Party has been in power for the sake of being in power".
-- Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, February 26, 2008.

Comment: Although there are probably people in both the Democratic and Republican parties who seek public office merely because they enjoy wielding power, Dean's claim that that is the only motivation behind the Republican Party as a whole is derisive and false. It is name-calling and demonizing.

Radio commentator Michael Savage calls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "two faces of evil" and says they are "not Americans".
-- February 21, 2008.

Comment: This is name-calling in the form of demonizing. In particular, Savage says they don't belong in this country.

"I'm so proud of the job that the men and women in the military are doing there [in Iraq], and they don't want us to raise the white flag of surrender, like Senator Clinton does."
-- Senator John McCain (AZ), January 24, 2008, at the Florida Republican Debate.

Comment: McCain may disagree with Clinton's plan to withdraw troops from Iraq, but to describe her position as "raising the white flag of surrender" is exaggeration, if not outright caricature.

"[Hillary Clinton's] approach to the war in Iraq: just get out as fast as you can. Just -- don't even think about the sacrifice that's been made or the need to keep Al Qaeda from establishing safe havens."
-- Former Governor Mitt Romney (MA), January 24, 2008, at the Florida Republican Debate.

Comment: This is a distortion. Clinton believes that having a large U.S. military presence in Iraq reduces the incentive for the Iraqi government to take the initiative to address security challenges -- such as Al Qaeda. Romney may disagree with that belief, but to say that Clinton cares nothing at all about whether Al Qaeda establishes safe havens in Iraq is false.

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