February 23, 2004

NEA, Hamas, al Qaeda? What’s the diff?…

The word “terrorist” used to mean something. For the most part, it identified a person who commits violence against people and property for political purposes, one of which is to foment panic in a population.

Is “terrorist” losing its meaning? Is it becoming a general condemnation for any political opposition? We’ve seen this usage mostly on the extreme fringes of the political spectrum. But it seems using the term for one’s political opposition is becoming more mainstream.

No matter what you think of the National Education Association, it is not a terrorist organization. And to call it one, even as a joke, demeans the democratic bargain and the tens of thousands of victims of real terrorism around the world.

The best our President could muster in response: “I fully understand it’s going to be the year of the sharp elbow and the quick tongue…But surely we can shuffle that aside sometimes and focus on our people.”

What else should we shuffle aside in this mean season?

One Response

  1. Nikki 

    There seems to be a long history of the government labeling unions as some type of threat to society. Remember red-baiting?