May 24, 2010

Wikipedia and the Unprincipled Rigth

We all know some people on the "right" who we might call "principled." They hold to a value and apply it consistently, regardless of party politics pressure. Maybe it's you, or a relative, a friend, co-workers or even someone in the corporate media. Ron Paul, a US Congressman is a classic, if not extreme, example... and there are other less notable examples.

There is Walter B. Jones, a US congress member made famous for coining the phrase "freedom fries" as an insult to the French for not getting on board quickly with the Iraq war. He now regrets saying that. Jones represents an area of North Carolina that has a sizable military population. His about-face reflects an undercurrent of honest feelings in the military communities. Walter Jones admits he was previously uninformed. But when he became informed, he stuck to his conservative principles and is now a vocal critic of the Iraq war.

The other conservative faction is the "unprincipled" right wingers... they represent a different color in the "conservative" spectrum. We know them too: The Republican water-carriers and self-promoters like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Bill Kristol, Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, who admits he carries water for the Republicans:

On the November 8 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed to "feel liberated" by Democratic victories in the House and Senate on November 7 because he is "no longer going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried."

But this is all a long-winded way of being able to say that the vocal unprincipled right is misdirecting the conservative base when they tell the base not to use Wikipedia. We all know it can have significant flaws on a particular subject, but the majority of the time, it answers your question or directs you to the answer. Adding "wiki" to your search can be a powerful information tool that gives you an information-access advantage. Conservatives who dismiss Wikipedia might just be giving themselves a handicap.

Oxford Dictionary editors


1 comment:

libhom said...

"Conservative principles" are merely the products of marketing and pr people working on behalf of the wealthy and corporations to extract money and wealth from the middle class and the poor.