The answer to the question posed by the post title is, apparently, ”anyone who has views with which I disagree” or “anybody I wish to discredit and marginalize.” Just as with the related word ”racist”. From here on out I think I will enclose the much-abused word “bigot” in scare quotes, just as I do the word ”racist.”
If a word is used over-liberally, or its definition increasingly expanded or distorted so that it can mean whatever the person wielding it chooses it to mean, then it becomes a worthless coin.
Since Donald Trump declared himself a presidential candidate, it seems the word ”bigot” is getting quite a workout. Now, in times past, you could just about make book on the likelihood that the person shrieking ‘bigot’ was a lefty, or in today’s parlance of acronyms, an SJW. Now, it is just as likely that the wielder of today’s preferred word-weapon is a ”respectable” Republican.
The phenomenon seems much like the recent trend of Republicans suddenly calling Democrats “racists” or more specifically, the ‘real racists‘. The idea seems to be that the people who felt aggrieved at being called ‘racists’ themselves decided to try to turn the same word-weapon against their leftist harassers. The fact that it has never worked, and never silenced or discouraged one single leftist/SJW escapes the hapless Republicans who just keep on trying the same thing, hoping for a different result.
Having failed to fend off their leftist attackers, the Respectables now turn their frustration and contempt toward the “nasty mouth-breathers”, the “quacks and haters” to their right. They are simply passing along the same insults hurled towards Republican voters in general to those undesirables to their right.
The insults in the paragraph above were the words of a writer in Commentary Magazine, who happens to be an in-law of William Kristol. The invective is, its source considered, unsurprising. But doesn’t it have a whiff of patrician (or would-be patrician) condescension and class-prejudice about it?
The writer laments the absence of the likes of William F. Buckley, whose ability to keep the GOP ‘big tent’ swept clean of the riff-raff the writer misses. I am old enough to remember Buckley and his TV program. Unaware of his actual origins, being young and naive, I assumed he was an ”upper-class WASP”, to the manor born. Imagine my surprise when I learned that he was of Irish origin, and of fairly recent immigrant provenance. I maintain there was and is such a thing as ‘WASP envy’ on the part of Ellis Island-vintage immigrant stock, and it is particularly strong amongst the ethnic immigrant stock, who imagine or were told that their ancestors were mistreated by those snobbish WASPs. Once having attained wealth these immigrants or their descendants both emulated WASP elites (as did Buckley, so ostentatiously as to become a walking, talking caricature) and envied those same WASPs and worked to undermine them as a group and destroy their legacy.
Personally I think this is a big motivation for many of the neocons who have held sway over the GOP in recent years. Maybe they are alarmed that their influence may be finished, as many voters who traditionally voted GOP have turned against the useless foreign ‘interventions’ and democracy-building in countries where such political systems will never find fertile ground. Whatever the reason, the neocons, the GOP party apparatchiks and the ‘cuckservatives’ who are in many cases just dupes of the aforementioned, are turning on the ‘real’ right wing, declaring them to be the ‘real bigots’, unlike the oh-so-PC Republican ‘Respectables.’
Hunter Wallace, in the linked piece, notes that the word ‘bigot’ has lost its meaning, and it’s true, as I mention in my opening paragraph. Recently I happened to look up the word ‘bigot’ in my 1936 Webster’s Dictionary, and I found that 80 years ago, the word was defined as
“One devoted obstinately or intolerantly to his church, party, belief, or religion.”
Obviously the meaning has changed, as your modern dictionary will say it means a ”hater” or a ”prejudiced” person. It used to imply rigidity and narrowness, not ”hate”.
By the old, time-honored definition, the left are bigots, but of course they would not be fazed by having that word thrown at them; they’ve learned that they can manipulate language and words to their own perverse purposes. Now it seems the Republicans/cuckservatives are joining in the chorus with the left. They are running scared, these ‘Respectables’, in some cases, lest they be associated with ‘quacks and haters’ and the ‘nasty mouth-breathers’.
This kind of thing is very characteristic of the nouveau riche class; the non-“old money”people who are most insecure in their status and image, and are most likely to be embarrassed by, or contemptuous toward, their poor relations.
Once upon a time even the venerable pseudo-WASP Bill Buckley was called names by the left, as seen in this hit piece. So even he was not deemed the doyen of respectability by his enemies. It’s almost enough to make you admire Buckley. The fact that he liked Albert Jay Nock impresses me.
But the point is: today’s pillars of respectability may tomorrow be deemed ‘reactionary’, ‘fascist’, or even ‘nasty mouth-breathers.’ Especially with the leftists constantly at work re-defining words and converting them to weapons.
However it seems the Respectable Right has decided to give up trying to beat the Left, and simply to join them — using the same tactics and the same rhetoric against the same people. Shows us their true colors, does it not? Thanks, Respectables, for making it so very easy for us to see.
[H/T Hunter Wallace]