Tuesday, March 29, 2005

On Depression, Politics, and Demonization --
This post has one woman's musings on depression. She writes about how the definition of mental illness seems different for women compared to men and is skeptical of "new" mental illnesses that supposedly target a specific demographic.

To relate it to politics, I find it discomforting when my fellow liberals imply or outright state that religious conservatives are crazy, deranged, or otherwise mentally ill. I see some people calling for the demonization of the Christian Right. While I see the propaganda value of doing so, it seems hypocritical coming from people who (rightfully) oppose the demonization of Muslims in the so-called "war on terror."

I wouldn't go so far as to say that calling the Religious Right "crazy" or "deranged" is somehow insensitive to the concerns of the mentally ill, but I think that it does deviate from reality. It allows liberals to create a self-righteous echo chamber when talking amongst themselves because they believe their opponents are inherently incapable of putting together a rational, coherent train of thought. Now, I am all in favor of liberal echo chambers--the Daily Kos diaries and the comments on Atrios and other liberal blogs provide plenty of opportunities--but only for shepherding left-of-center sheep, allowing them to bleat contentedly, not for any real policy-making.

So what am I saying? It's OK to call the Christian Right crazy so long as you don't actually believe it and are capable of living next door to and being friends with such a person.
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