McCARTHYISM, n. 1. The hurling of baseless, slanderous charges at political opponents, be they groups or individuals; 2. A common means of leveling such charges through the deliberate conflation of two unrelated things, such as anti-Semitism and criticism of the state of Israel, or racism and criticism of Islam or Muslims (who come in all colors).

How these distinct things are identical is never explained, though one suspects transubstantiation or a particularly perverse form of syllogistic reasoning. To wit:

Most Islamic believers are black or brown.
So, criticism of Islam (a religion) is an attack on black and brown people.
Therefore those who criticize Islam are racist.

Or

Most Israeli citizens are Jewish.
So, criticism of Israel (a political entity) is an attack on Jewish people.
Therefore those who criticize Israel are anti-Semitic..

One could just as well argue the following:

Most American child molesters are white.
So, criticism of child molesters is an attack on white people.
Therefore those who criticize child molesters are racists.

And there you have it. What passes for political discussion in the land of the free.

* * *

–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the best modern successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary

 

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover

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  1. […] is engaging in McCarthyism, in character assassination. Chu should be ashamed of himself for writing his piece, and the […]

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